Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Van Hasselt's Sunbird (Leptocoma brasiliana)

OTHER NAMES: Maroon-bellied Sunbird
Latin Etymology: Leptocoma ("delicate hair") brasiliana ("Brazilian")
Adult male Van Hasselt's Sunbird (subspecies L. b. brasiliana) at Ang Mo Kio, Singapore - February 2019

Featured Subspecies: Leptocoma brasiliana brasiliana
Weight: ?  /  Length: 10cm  /  Wingspan: ?
ABSENT FROM UK IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Though this picture doesn't even begin to do this species credit, Van Hasselt's sunbird is a stunning looking species - the males have patches of iridescent plumage of magenta, turquoise and blue, on an alreadt striking scarlet chest and black back.  They have been slightly through the taxonomic mix, having been formerly lumped with the Purple-throated Sunbird of the Philippines, and bizarelly havign ended up with "brasiliana" in their latin name despite having precisely nothing to do with Brazil.  A vague mention in my taxonomic references suggests that Brisson who named it somehow got Java and Brazil mixed up.  It's common name honours Johan Conrad van Hasselt, a Dutch ecologist who travelled to South East Asia in the 1820s.

ORDER: Passeriformes
FAMILY: Nectariniidae
Genus: Leptocoma
SUBSPECIES: L. b. brasiliana, L. b. emmae, L. b. mecynorhyncha, L. b. eumecis, L. b. axantha, L. b. oeopa 

 - Sighting Locations -
SINGAPORE - Fairly Common resident
 - CAMBODIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A pair seen in Ang Mo Kio.

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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