Wax digestion by Black-throated Honey-guides Indicator indicator
Diamond, A. W
Place, A. R
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The honey-guides (Indicatoridae) are brood parasites and specialist feeders on wax; the larger species obtain wax from bees' nests and the smaller ones from scale-insects or fruit (Friedmann 1955, Diamond 1985). The ability to digest beeswax has been demonstrated experimentally in only one bird species, the Lesser Honey-guide Indicator minor (Friedmann & Kern 1956a). Here we describe an experiment confirming the same ability in the Black-throated or Greater Honey-guide, 1.indicator, and discuss reasons for questioning Friedmann and Kern's claim that wax digestion in honey-guides need be accomplished hy symbiotic microorganisms.