Asian barbets are usually birds of the inner forest. One species, the coppersmith barbet, is adapted to life on the forest edge and in scrub. They are mainly solitary birds, eating insects and fruit. Figs of the genus Ficus are the most important fruit taken by Asian barbets. Large fig trees will attract several species of barbet along with other frugivores. In addition to figs numerous other species of fruiting tree and bush are visited, an individual barbet may feed on as many as 60 different species in its range. They will also visit plantations and take cultivated fruit and vegetables. Fruit is eaten whole and indigestible material such as seed pits regurgitated later (often before singing). Regurgitation does not usually happen in the nest (as happens with toucans). Barbets are thought to be important agents in seed dispersal in tropical forests. As well as taking fruit barbets also take arthropod prey, gleaned from the branches and trunks of trees. A wide range on insects are taken, including ants, cicadas, dragonflies, crickets, locusts, beetles, moths and mantids. Scorpions and centipedes are also taken, and a few species will take small vertebrates such as lizards, frogs and geckos.
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