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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Summary

"A common bird of urban habitats with a brown body, black head and yellow patch behind the eye."
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Distribution

Global Range: RESIDENT: from eastern Iran, Turkestan, and Himalayas south to India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and Andaman Islands. INTRODUCED: established in Hawaii (all main islands and Midway), South Africa, Malaya, Australia, New Zealand, and many oceanic islands, including Upolu in the western Samoan Islands (AOU 1983, Beichle 1989).

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Common mynas are native to south Asia. Their natural breeding range is from Afghanistan through India and Sri Lanka to Bangladesh. They have been introduced to many tropical areas of the world except for South America. Common mynas are a resident species in India, although occasional east-west movements have been reported.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Introduced ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Introduced ); australian (Introduced ); oceanic islands (Introduced )

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Physical Description

Morphology

Common mynas range in body length from 23 to 26 cm, weigh anywhere from 82 to 143 grams, and have a wingspan of 120 to 142 mm. The female and the male are monomorphic for the most part – the male is only slightly larger, with a greater body mass and wingspan. Common mynas have yellow bills, legs, and eye skin. They are dark brown with a black head. They have white undertail coverts, tail tips, patches at the base of their primaries, and wing linings that are distinctive in flight. Juveniles have more brownish heads than adults. Common mynas are often confused with noisy miners (Manorina melanocephala). In contrast to common mynas, noisy miners are slightly larger and mostly grey.

Range mass: 82 to 143 g.

Range length: 23 to 26 cm.

Range wingspan: 120 to 142 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; male larger

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"A familiar, perky, well-Rroomcd darkbrown bird with bright yellow bill, legs and bare skin around the eyes. A large white patch on the wing is prominent in flight. Sexes alike."
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Size

Length: 25 cm

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"Between the Bulbul and the Pigeon. (9"""")."
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Diagnostic Description

SubSpecies Varieties Races

A. t. melanosternus A. t. naumanni A. t. tristis A. t. tristoides
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Common mynas occupy a wide range of habitats in warm areas with access to water. In their native range, common mynas inhabit open agricultural areas such as farmlands as well as cities. They are often found on the outskirts of towns and also outlying homesteads in desert or forest. They tend to avoid dense vegetation. They are most common in dry woodlands and partly open forests. On the Hawaiian islands, they have been reported from elevations of sea level to 3000 meters. Common mynas prefer to roost in isolated stands of tall trees with dense canopies.

Range elevation: 0 to 3,000 m.

Average elevation: 1,500 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; forest ; scrub forest

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural ; riparian

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Comments: Open country and plains, primarily near human habitation. Hawaii: seacoast to forest edge; open countryside, agricultural areas, residential gardens and streets; often associates with domestic animals; often roosts in monkeypod or banyan trees. BREEDING: Nests in various nooks and crannies, often on or in buildings or other structures, also in trees (Berger 1981).

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General Habitat

Common in towns and on the countryside.
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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Common mynas are omnivorous and feed on almost anything. Their primary diet consists of fruit, grain, grubs, and insects. They prey on eggs and young of other birds, such as akepas (Loxops coccineus). They sometimes even wade in shallow waters to catch fish. Common mynas feed mostly on the ground. In residential areas they eat anything from garbage to kitchen scraps. Common mynas eat small mammals, such as mice, as well as lizards and small snakes. They also eat spiders, earthworms, and crabs. Common mynas eat mostly grains and fruit, but also feed on flower nectar and petals.

Animal Foods: birds; mammals; amphibians; reptiles; fish; eggs; carrion ; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; terrestrial worms; aquatic or marine worms; aquatic crustaceans

Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit; nectar; flowers

Primary Diet: omnivore

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Comments: Eats fruit, grain, insects, garbage.

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Associations

Common mynas are important pollination or seed-dispersal agents for many plants and trees. On the Hawaiian Islands they disperse the seeds of Lantana camara. They also help control cutworms (Spodoptera mauritia) on the Hawaiian Islands. Common mynas also act as hosts for various parasites such as nematodes, tapeworms, trematode flukes, arthropods, and bird mites. In areas where they have been introduced they negatively impact native bird and seabird species by preying on eggs and nestlings.

Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds; pollinates

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • nematodes (Nematoda)
  • tapeworms (Cestoda)
  • trematode flukes (Trematoda)
  • feather mites (Acari)

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Common nest predators of common mynas are house crows (Corvus splendens) and house cats (Felis silvestris). Javan mongooses (Herpestes javanicus) raid nests to take nestlings and eggs. Humans (Homo sapiens) in some of the Pacific Islands also eat common mynas. Common mynas roost together for predator defense and often mob predators in flocks. They warn each other through alarm calls.

Known Predators:

  • domestic cats (Felis silvestris)
  • humans (Homo sapiens)
  • Javan mongooses (Herpestes javanicus)
  • house crows (Corvus splendens)

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General Ecology

Gregarious; roosts in flocks of up to several thousand.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Common mynas communicate vocally with other mynas and other bird species. They have a wide variety of alarm calls, that can warn other bird species as well. During the day, pairs resting in the shade also utter songs while half-bowing and bristling their feathers. When under duress, common mynas utter high-pitched screams. Parents sometimes utter a specific trill when approaching their nest with food, which signals the nestlings to begin begging. In captivity, common mynas are able to imitate human speech. Both females and males sing, but males sing more frequently. Common mynas also participate in loud dawn and dusk choruses.

Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic

Other Communication Modes: choruses

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Behaviour

"Along with the Crow, the Kite and the Sparrow, the Myna is our commonest and most familiar bird about human habitations- in the heart of a bustling city or far out on the countryside. It is sociable in disposition and omnivorous in diet, two conditions which fit it admirably for a life of commensalism with man. A pair or two usually adopt a house or compound for their own and guard it jealously against intrusion from others of their kind. Large numbers, however, will collect to feed, whether on earthworms on a freshly watered lawn, a swarm of winged termites or on a Peepal or Banyan tree in fruit. They may commonly be seen hunting grasshoppers on the heels of grazing cattle, or following the plough, stalking alongside it, side-hopping jauntily, and springing in the air now and again to secure the fleeing quarry. The birds have communal roosts in favourite groves of trees to which large numbers foregather every evening. These are often shared by parakeets, crows and other species who contribute to the din that prevails before the birds finally retire for the night. This Myna has a varied assortment of sharp calls and chatter. A loud, scolding radio-radio-radio is commonly heard, while during the mid-day heat when a pair are resting in a shady spot, the male will frequently go through an amazing gamut of keekkeek-keek, kok-kok-kok, chur-chur, etc., with plumage frowzled and a ludicrous bobbing of his head before his mate."
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Life Expectancy

Little is known about the lifespan of common mynas. Reports suggest an average life expectancy for both sexes of 4 years. Lack of food or resources is the biggest limiting factor in the survival of common mynas. Other factors that contribute to mortality rates are poor selection of nest sites and unfavorable weather.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
4 years.

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Reproduction

Common mynas are monogamous and territorial. In Hawaii pairs stay together year round. In other areas common mynas pair up during early spring and before establishment of territories. During the breeding season, normally from October to March, there is usually considerable competition for nesting sites. Occasionally, violent battles may occur between pairs over a single nesting site. The courtship display of the male is characterized by head bowing and bobbing, with fluffed plumage, accompanied by calls.

Mating System: monogamous

Common mynas reach sexual maturity around 1 year of age. Females lay four to five eggs in a clutch. The incubation period is 13 to 18 days, during which both parents incubate the eggs. The nestlings may leave the nest at around twenty-two days or longer, but may still not be able to fly for another seven days or so. Depending on their geographic location, common mynas have been reported to breed anywhere from 1 to 3 times a season. In their native range, common mynas begin nesting in March and breeding lasts through September. Even after nestlings leave the nest parents may continue to feed and protect these juveniles until 1.5 months after they hatch.

Breeding interval: Depending on geographical location, common mynas have been reported to breed anywhere from 1-3 times yearly.

Breeding season: In their native range, common mynas begin nesting in March and breeding lasts through September.

Range eggs per season: 4 to 5.

Range time to hatching: 13 to 18 days.

Average time to hatching: 13.9 days.

Range fledging age: 22 to 24 days.

Average time to independence: 1.5 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous

Both parents play an equal part in building and defending nesting territory. Both parents incubate the eggs, with the female incubating the most. The female incubates alone at night, and the male incubates only a little during the day. When the young are hatched they are altricial and blind. Both parents feed the hatchlings for nearly 3 weeks, during the fledging period, and even continue to feed and protect them for up to 3 weeks after they leave the nest. Parents carry food to their chicks mostly in their beaks because they don’t have crops. The young are stimulated to beg when parents give a rich, honky trill while approaching the nest with food. After the young are independent, they sometimes continue to forage with their parents and the parents continue to protect them from predators. Juveniles form small flocks when they become independent. Some young begin to form pairs when they are nine months old, but rarely attempt to breed in their first year.

Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); post-independence association with parents

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Hawaii: nesting season at least February-August; clutch size 2-5; incubation 13 days, by both sexes; young tended by both sexes; nestling period 4-5 weeks; sexually mature in <1 year (Eddinger 1967).

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"The season is principally from April to August. Often two successive broods are raised. The nest is a collection of twigs, roots, paper and rubbish, placed in holes in trees and walls, or between the ceiling and roof of a house. The same site is used year after year. The eggs—four or five—are a beautiful glossy blue. Both sexes, build, incubate and tend the young."
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Acridotheres tristis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 47 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

AACCGATGATTATTCTCAACCAACCACAAAGATATCGGCACCCTCTACCTAATTTTCGGCGCATGAGCCGGGATGGTAGGTACCGCCCTA---AGCCTCCTTATCCGAGCAGAACTAGGCCAACCAGGCGCTCTACTGGGAGAC---GACCAAGTCTACAACGTAGTAGTTACAGCCCACGCCTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATGGTTATACCAATCATGATCGGAGGCTTCGGAAACTGACTAGTCCCTCTAATA---ATCGGAGCCCCAGATATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTACTCCCCCCATCCTTCTTACTACTTCTAGCCTCCTCTACAGTCGAAGCAGGGGTAGGAACAGGCTGAACAGTGTACCCCCCTCTAGCAGGCAACCTAGCCCACGCCGGAGCCTCAGTAGACCTA---GCCATCTTCTCCCTACACCTAGCCGGTATTTCCTCAATCCTGGGGGCTATCAATTTCATCACTACAGCAATCAACATAAAACCGCCCGCCCTGTCACAATACCAAACTCCCCTATTCGTTTGATCCGTACTAATTACTGCAGTACTACTACTCCTGTCACTCCCCGTTCTTGCTGCT---GGCATTACAATGCTCCTCACCGACCGCAACCTCAACACCACCTTCTTCGACCCCGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCTGTACTGTATCAACACCTCTTCTGATTCTTCGGCCACCCTGAAGTATACATTCTAATCCTCCCAGGATTCGGAATCATCTCCCACGTCGTAGCCTACTACGCAGGAAAAAAA---GAGCCCTTCGGATATATAGGAATAGTATGAGCCATGCTGTCCATCGGGTTCTTAGGATTCATCGTCTGAGCCCACCACATATTCACCGTGGGAATGGACGTAGACACTCGAGCATATTTCACTTCCGCTACAATGATCATTGCCATCCCAACAGGAATCAAAGTGTTCAGCTGACTA---GCAACC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acridotheres tristis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 47
Specimens with Barcodes: 54
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Sturnus tristis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen.

Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.

AACCGATGATTATTCTCAACCAACCACAAAGATATCGGCACCCTCTACCTAATTTTCGGCGCATGAGCCGGGATGGTAGGTACCGCCCTA---AGCCTCCTTATCCGAGCAGAACTAGGCCAACCAGGCGCTCTACTGGGAGAC---GACCAAGTCTACAACGTAGTAGTTACAGCCCACGCCTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATGGTTATACCAATCATGATCGGAGGCTTCGGAAACTGACTAGTCCCTCTAATA---ATCGGAGCCCCAGATATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTACTCCCCCCATCCTTCTTACTACTTCTAGCCTCCTCTACAGTCGAAGCAGGGGTAGGAACAGGCTGAACAGTGTACCCCCCTCTAGCAGGCAACCTAGCCCACGCCGGAGCCTCAGTAGACCTA---GCCATCTTCTCCCTACACCTAGCCGGTATTTCCTCAATCCTGGGGGCTATCAATTTCATCACTACAGCAATCAACATAAAACCGCCCGCCCTGTCACAATACCAAACTCCCCTATTCGTTTGATCCGTACTAATTACTGCAGTACTACTACTCCTGTCACTCCCCGTTCTTGCTGCT---GGCATTACAATGCTCCTCACCGACCGCAACCTCAACACCACCTTCTTCGACCCCGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCTGTACTGTATCAA
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sturnus tristis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

History
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
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