Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) - HBW 13, p. 313

French: Souimanga siparaja German: Karmesinnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga Siparaja
Other common names: Eastern Crimson Sunbird, Yellow-backed/Goulpourah/Scarlet-throated/Scarlet-breasted Sunbird

Taxonomy: Certhia siparaja Raffles, 1822, Sumatra.
Forms a superspecies with A. vigorsii, and often treated as conspecific. Geographical variation sometimes well marked; some distinctive races, e.g. seheriae and magnifica, perhaps merit separation at species level. Conversely, poorly differentiated heliogona may be better synonymized with nominate; also labecula with seheriae, and these two intergrade in N West Bengal and Bhutan. Nominate race intergrades with trangensis on W coast of Malay Peninsula. Many additional races described, all considered insufficiently distinct to warrant recognition.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Certhia siparaja Raffles, 1822, Sumatra.
Forms a superspecies with A. vigorsii, and often treated as conspecific. Geographical variation sometimes well marked; some distinctive races, e.g. seheriae and magnifica, perhaps merit separation at species level. Conversely, poorly differentiated heliogona may be better synonymized with nominate; also labecula with seheriae, and these two intergrade in N West Bengal and Bhutan. Nominate race intergrades with trangensis on W coast of Malay Peninsula. Many additional races described, all considered insufficiently distinct to warrant recognition: thus, off W Sumatra, tinoptila (from Pulo Siumat, near Simeulue I), heliophiletica (Pulo Bangkaru, in Banyak Is), niasensis (Nias I), melanetra (Pulo Lasia), siberu (Siberut I) and photina (North Pagai I) are included in nominate, as also is ochropyrrha (Pulo Rittan, in Anamba Is); mussooriensis (Mussoorie, N India), miles (Nepal), andersoni (Sawaddy, E of Bhamo, in N Myanmar) and viridicauda (Tengyueh, in Yunnan, in S China) all subsumed in seheriae; terglanei (Bangladesh) included in labecula, and heliotis (Domel I, in Mergui Archipelago) synonymized with cara; and marinduquensis (Barrio Canat, Boac, Marinduque), formerly erroneously treated as a race of Leptocoma sperata, is merged with magnifica. In addition, there may be a further undescribed race in Bangladesh. Fifteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • seheriae (Tickell, 1833) - Himalayan foothills in India from W Himachal Pradesh (Kangra) E to Sikkim and Bhutan, S to N West Bengal, E Bihar, E Madhya Pradesh and Orissa (possibly N Andhra Pradesh), and W Bangladesh.
  • labecula (Horsfield, 1840) - Bhutan, NE India (N West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur) and Bangladesh S to Chittagong Hills, E to Myanmar (except S), S China (S Yunnan), NW Laos and NW Vietnam.
  • cara Hume, 1874 - S Myanmar and Thailand.

     See all 15 subspecies
  • seheriae (Tickell, 1833) - Himalayan foothills in India from W Himachal Pradesh (Kangra) E to Sikkim and Bhutan, S to N West Bengal, E Bihar, E Madhya Pradesh and Orissa (possibly N Andhra Pradesh), and W Bangladesh.
  • labecula (Horsfield, 1840) - Bhutan, NE India (N West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur) and Bangladesh S to Chittagong Hills, E to Myanmar (except S), S China (S Yunnan), NW Laos and NW Vietnam.
  • cara Hume, 1874 - S Myanmar and Thailand.
  • nicobarica Hume, 1873 - S Nicobar Is (Great and Little Nicobars, Kondal I, Meroe I).
  • tonkinensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1917 - NE Vietnam and S China (SE Yunnan E to W Guangdong).
  • owstoni Rothschild, 1910 - Naozhou I (SW Guangdong), in S China.
  • mangini Delacour & Jabouille, 1924 - SE Thailand and C & S Indochina.
  • insularis Delacour & Jabouille, 1928 - Phu Quoc I, off S Cambodia.
  • trangensis Meyer de Schauensee, 1946 - S Thailand and N Malay Peninsula.
  • siparaja (Raffles, 1822) - Malay Peninsula (S of Narathiwat), Anamba Is (E of Peninsular Malaysia), Sumatra (except Aceh) and satellite islands, and Borneo and associated small islands (except Natunas).
  • natunae Chasen, 1935 - Natuna Is.
  • heliogona Oberholser, 1923 - Java.
  • magnifica Sharpe, 1876 - WC Philippine Is (Marinduque, Tablas, Sibuyan, Panay, Negros, Cebu).
  • flavostriata (Wallace, 1865) - N Sulawesi.
  • beccarii Salvadori, 1875 - C, S & SE Sulawesi, Kabaena, Muna and Butung.