Scaly-breasted Munia – Lonchura punctulata

Simple species – published on 14th of February 2018
See Estrildidae family (waxbills, munias, mannikins…)
In French: Capucin damier en français

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If human keep making the same landscape all over the World, about 85% or 90% of the bird species will decrease dangeroulsy or go extinct and about 10% or 15% will adapt and spread virtually worldwide. Scaly-breasted Munia is one candidate to fall in the last category. Where it escaped or was released, it adapts quite well. In its range, it tends to be common and is still even increasing, being well adapted to agricultural areas with sugarcane fields and paddies. During our project, it was discovered breeding on the island of Leyte (Philippines). It is probably a range extension; its natural range is mainly Asia from Pakistan in West, East to Taiwan, Mindanao (Philippines) and Indonesia. 

Taxonomy and sub-species

Lonchura_punctuluta_3enIt is a distinct bird without very close relative. There are other munias with similar plumage, but they are sympatric and no suspect interaction was noticed.

There are a dozen of described sub-species that vary in upperparts colour, dark area on face and chin and underparts drawing. Differences are weak except in the case of the nominal sub-species (India, Nepal, Pakistan) that is the only one with black and white pattern on breast and belly (suggesting a split – Checkered Munia).

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Lonchura_punctuluta_1en

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[Species #45 of the Holistic Encyclopedia of Birds project]

List of other species pages: taxonomicalday per day

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All photos and text are © Valéry Schollaert and Marinella Mejia

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