Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) - HBW 13, p. 247

French: Souimanga à gorge brune German: Braunkehl-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga Gorjipardo
Other common names: Plain-throated/Lesser Sunda Sunbird (“chlorigaster group”)

Taxonomy: Certhia malacensis Scopoli, 1786, Malacca, Peninsular Malaysia.
Forms a superspecies with A. griseigularis and often treated as conspecific, but the two exhibit constant differences in plumage and measurements, and no indication of hybridization or introgression; close also to A. rhodolaemus. Races form two groups: “chlorigaster group” (incorporating also heliolusius and wiglesworthi), males of which have head and back iridescent dark green and underparts generally olive-green, and “nominate group” (all other races), males having head to rump iridescent violet and underparts bright yellow. Geographical variation .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Certhia malacensis Scopoli, 1786, Malacca, Peninsular Malaysia.
Forms a superspecies with A. griseigularis and often treated as conspecific, but the two exhibit constant differences in plumage and measurements, and no indication of hybridization or introgression; close also to A. rhodolaemus. Races form two groups: “chlorigaster group” (incorporating also heliolusius and wiglesworthi), males of which have head and back iridescent dark green and underparts generally olive-green, and “nominate group” (all other races), males having head to rump iridescent violet and underparts bright yellow. Geographical variation otherwise not well marked; races anambae, erixanthus and bornensis possibly better merged with nominate, in which paraguae and mjobergi were formerly included; heliolusius has in the past been synonymized with chlorigaster. In addition, population on Lombok (W Lesser Sundas) of uncertain racial affiliation, belongs either with nominate race or with convergens; further study required. Birds from Marinduque and Camiguin Sur (C & S Philippines) reported to represent two further races, but to date no descriptions formally published. Other proposed races are, off W Sumatra, pelloptilus (from Simeulue I), pollostus (Mt Lembu, on Nias I) and nesaeus (Pagai Is), all included in nominate, as also are javanicus (Java) and baweanus (Bawean I, N of Java); basilanicus (Basilan, in S Philippines), included in heliolusius; sanghiranus (Sangihe I, N of Sulawesi), merged with heliocalus; and nesophilus (Mantehage, off NE Sulawesi) and citrinus (described from Wawo, in SE Sulawesi), both synonymized with celebensis. Sixteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • malacensis (Scopoli, 1786) - SW & S Myanmar, Thailand, Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia and nearby islands, Sumatra and satellites, most of Borneo (Sarawak and Kalimantan), Karimata I (off SW Borneo), Java (including Madura) and Bali.
  • anambae Oberholser, 1917 - Anamba Is (E of Peninsular Malaysia).
  • erixanthus Oberholser, 1932 - Natuna Is.

     See all 16 subspecies
  • malacensis (Scopoli, 1786) - SW & S Myanmar, Thailand, Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia and nearby islands, Sumatra and satellites, most of Borneo (Sarawak and Kalimantan), Karimata I (off SW Borneo), Java (including Madura) and Bali.
  • anambae Oberholser, 1917 - Anamba Is (E of Peninsular Malaysia).
  • erixanthus Oberholser, 1932 - Natuna Is.
  • bornensis Riley, 1920 - N Borneo (Sabah and Brunei).
  • paraguae Riley, 1920 - Calamian Group (Calauit, Culion), Palawan and Balabac, in W Philippine Is.
  • cagayanensis Mearns, 1905 - Cagayan Sulu (S of Palawan).
  • chlorigaster Sharpe, 1877 - C Philippines (Lubang, Tablas, Sibuyan, Masbate, Panay, Negros, Cebu, probably also Romblon and Ticao).
  • heliolusius Oberholser, 1923 - Basilan and W & C Mindanao (including Talicud), in S Philippines.
  • wiglesworthi E. J. O. Hartert, 1902 - Sulu Archipelago (Basbas, Jolo, Tawi-tawi, Sanga-Sanga, Bongao, Simunul, probably also Pangamian).
  • iris Parkes, 1971 - SW Sulu Is (Tumindao, Sibutu, probably also Sitanki), in far SW Philippines.
  • mjobergi Bangs & Peters, 1927 - Maratua I, off E Borneo.
  • heliocalus Oberholser, 1923 - Sangihe and Siau, N of Sulawesi.
  • celebensis Shelley, 1878 - Sulawesi, including Mantehage, Manadotua, Manterawu, Talisei, Bangka, Togian Is, Labuan Blanda, Kabaena, Muna and Butung.
  • extremus Mees, 1966 - Banggai Is and Sula Archipelago.
  • convergens Rensch, 1929 - Lesser Sundas (Sumbawa, Komodo, Padar, Flores, Adonara, Satonda, Lomblen, Pantar, Alor).
  • rubrigena Rensch, 1931 - Sumba (in SW Lesser Sundas).