Tuesday 21 May
Scaly-breasted munia (Lonchura punctulata)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Scaly-breasted munia fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Scaly-breasted munia description
The scaly-breasted munia (Lonchura punctulata), also known as the nutmeg mannikin or spice finch, is a small bird with a very distinctive appearance. It has a bright cinnamon head and neck, with duller brown plumage on the back and wings. The underside of the scaly-breasted munia is mainly white, although each feather on the breast has a brown edge, creating the scale-like pattern for which this species is named (2). The pointed tail is a yellowish-brown (3).
- Also known as
- Nutmeg mannikin, nutmeg mannikini, spice finch.
- Spermète d'épices.
- Length: 12 cm (2)
BirdLife International - Scaly-breasted munia:
- A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
- To keep eggs warm so that development is possible.
IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
- Koepff, C. and Romagnano, A. (2001) The Finch Handbook. Barron’s Educational Series, New York.
- Harrison, J. (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Raffaele, H., Wiley, J., Garrido, O., Keith, A. and Raffaele, J. (2003) Birds of the West Indies. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
- Sibley, C.G. and Monroe Jr, B.L. (1990) Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.
Birdlife International (November, 2010)
- Burton, M. and Burton, R. (2002) International Wildlife Encyclopedia. Marshall Cavendish, New York.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
Scaly-breasted munia biology
Being a highly sociable bird, the scaly-breasted munia is usually found in small groups, which sometimes include other species of the genus Lonchura. The diet of the scaly-breasted munia comprises mainly seeds, and this species spends much of its time foraging off the ground. It also takes seeds directly from plants such as rice during the harvest season, when the kernels are maturing (2).
Typically, Lonchura species build dome-shaped nests (7). Pairs of scaly-breasted munias will build nests from grass, straw and bamboo leaves. The nests can be found in bushes and usually contain four to seven eggs (2). Species within the Lonchura genus usually incubate their eggs for 15 to 18 days, and once hatched, the chicks grow rapidly and are fully independent within a few months (7).Top
Scaly-breasted munia rangeTop
Scaly-breasted munia habitat
The scaly-breasted munia is a highly adaptable bird. Although traditionally found in grassland and scrub, this species also thrives in farmland and gardens on the edge of urban areas (2) (5). It can be found at elevations of up to 2,200 metres (5).Top
Scaly-breasted munia status
The scaly-breasted munia is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Scaly-breasted munia threats
There are currently no known threats to the scaly-breasted munia (6).Top
Scaly-breasted munia conservation
There are no specific conservation methods currently in place for the scaly-breasted munia (6).Top
Find out more
Find out more about the scaly-breasted munia:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Creative commons material
Any other use