Morphology, body mass and autumn diet of the European Quail (Coturnix coturnix coturnix) in Evros and Chios, Greece

Wildlife Biology in Practice,
3 (1) : pages 9-17



There is a very reduced amount of information on the European quail (Coturnix coturnix coturnix) in Greece where it constitutes one of the most important game species. The aim of this research was to examine the body-mass measurements and diet of the European quail  (Coturnix coturnix coturnix) in Greece. The study was conducted during the hunting seasons (august until november) of 2000 and 2001, in the Soufli region of the County of Evros and in the island of Chios, Greece. 
A total of 273 specimens were collected (141 from Evros and 132 from Chios). Males body weight was 103.6 ± 11.6 g, total body length was 19.0 ± 0.9 cm, bill length was 1.2 ± 0.07 cm, wing length was 10.6 ± 0.4 cm and tarsus length was 2.7 ± 0.1 cm. Female body was 110.5 ± 12.0 g, total length of body was 19.3 ± 0.8 cm, length of bill was 1.2 ± 0.07 cm, length of wing was 10.8 ± 0.4 cm and length of tarsus was 2.7 ± 0.1 cm. All variables were significantly different between sexes (p<0.001), except tarsus length (p=0.762). Moreover, between study areas, only body weight were not statistically different (p=0.361).
In Soufli, 2.1% of the examinated specimens were found to be empty and in Chios this value amounted to 18.9%. Seeds and insects were found to represent the main food items of the species. Seeds of the Graminae family and insects of the Hymenoptera order were dominant in the food habits of the species in Souffli, while in Chios seeds of the Polygonacea and Rosacea families ans insects of the Hymenoptera order were dominant. 


MOTS CLES :  European quail - C. c. coturnix - Food habits - Morphometric characters - Greece 


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