Fairy-bluebirds (Irenidae)

Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) - HBW 10, p. 276

French: Irène vierge German: Türkisfeenvogel Spanish: Irena Dorsiazul
Other common names: Blue-backed/Blue-mantled Fairy-bluebird; Palawan Fairy-bluebird (tweeddalei)

Taxonomy: Coracias Puella Latham, 1790, Travancore, southern Kerala, India.
Formerly considered conspecific with I. cyanogastra. Race andamanica treated as synonymous with nominate by some authors, but differs in having heavier bill. Birds from N Indian Subcontinent, described as race sikkimensis, considered better treated within nominate. Body size varies with latitude, outer tropical populations of nominate being largest, equatorial crinigera smallest. Race tweeddalei has sometimes been spelt tweeddalii, following very slightly later usage by same author; latter, however, must be rejected as unjustified emendation or incorr.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Coracias Puella Latham, 1790, Travancore, southern Kerala, India.
Formerly considered conspecific with I. cyanogastra. Race andamanica treated as synonymous with nominate by some authors, but differs in having heavier bill. Birds from N Indian Subcontinent, described as race sikkimensis, considered better treated within nominate. Body size varies with latitude, outer tropical populations of nominate being largest, equatorial crinigera smallest. Race tweeddalei has sometimes been spelt tweeddalii, following very slightly later usage by same author; latter, however, must be rejected as unjustified emendation or incorrect subsequent spelling. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • puella (Latham, 1790) - SW, S & NE Indian Subcontinent E to extreme S China (S Yunnan), S in continental SE Asia to N Malay Peninsula and S Vietnam.
  • andamanica Abdulali, 1964 - Andaman and Nicobar Is.
  • malayensis F. Moore, 1854 - S Malay Peninsula.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • puella (Latham, 1790) - SW, S & NE Indian Subcontinent E to extreme S China (S Yunnan), S in continental SE Asia to N Malay Peninsula and S Vietnam.
  • andamanica Abdulali, 1964 - Andaman and Nicobar Is.
  • malayensis F. Moore, 1854 - S Malay Peninsula.
  • crinigera Sharpe, 1877 - Sumatra (including islands off W coast), Bangka, Belitung and Borneo.
  • turcosa Walden, 1870 - Java.
  • tweeddalei Sharpe, 1877 - W Philippines (Calamians, Palawan, Balabac).