Blue-throated Barbet Psilopogon asiaticus Scientific name definitions

Anand Krishnan
Version: 2.0 — Published April 21, 2023

Diet and Foraging


One of the most common canopy frugivores in many parts of its range, this species remains understudied in many aspects of its life-history.


Microhabitat for Foraging

Primarily a bird of the canopy, the Blue-throated Barbet sometimes descends lower in search of fruit (1).

Food Capture and Consumption

It tends to gather at fruiting trees and is not a shy bird. Some captive specimens swallow dates whole (35). Fruit are removed using the large bill, but are also sometimes eaten by removing pieces when still attached to the tree (AK). Insects may be captured perched, or rarely in flight (AK), as with other barbets (1). The bird bashes large insects against a tree limb before consuming them (1).


Diet includes fruits of Ficus such as Ficus glomerata, Dillenia pulcherrima [= D. aurea] (28), Celtis australis (36) and Ilex umbellulata (37), as well as Ficus drupacea, Talauma hodgsoni [= Magnolia hodgsonii], Litsea sp. and Sterculia villosa (33), flowers of Pistacia integerrima, Butea monosperma and Erythrina variegata (38), and various insect larvae, crickets, mantids and large centipedes (1).

Food Selection and Storage

Captive wild-caught or hand-reared juveniles of the Blue-throated Barbet from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden in Chine tend to exhibit a preference for black and red fruits over yellow, green or blue fruits in a choice experiment, possibly because of contrast against the green canopy background (39).

Nutrition and Energetics

Information needed.

Metabolism and Temperature Regulation

Information needed.

Drinking, Pellet-Casting, and Defecation

Information needed.

Recommended Citation

Krishnan, A. (2023). Blue-throated Barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (N. D. Sly, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.bltbar2.02