Monday 10 November 2014

The Rufous Woodpecker and the Crematogaster Ant

I had first met a Rufous Woodpecker on a trip to BR Hills, Karnataka, two years back. The bird was  curiously inspecting a Crematogaster ant nest and I was immediately just as curious to know more about this behaviour. As I happened to read more, I came to know that the Rufous Woodpecker and the Crematogaster ants have one of the most unique symbioses in nature going on with each other! Here's my theory of why this relationship came into being. The comic appeared in the November '14 issue of Saevus magazine.

There's also a caricature I've done to proclaim my love for this bird! Several aspects of the breeding behaviour of the Rufous Woodpecker seem to be unknown, such as whether or not the male too participates in nesting. I was not sure about this myself, but I have still depicted both sexes to illustrate sexual dimorphism (the red cheek patch is a male characteristic). 

Prints available on my webstore (the comic here, and the caricature here). For orders within India, e-mail me on

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