Chestnut-breasted mannikins Lonchura castaneothorax, photographed by Duncan McCaskill.

Belongs within: Estrildidae.

Lonchura, the mannikins or munias, is a genus of finch-like birds found in Africa, southern Asia and Australia. Members of this genus have stout, large bills, medium to relatively long tails, and lack bright primary or secondary colours in their plumage, being generally coloured with browns, greys, whites and blacks. The Java sparrow Lonchura oryzivora is a distinctive species with a relatively large red bill, together with a grey back, black head and white cheeks, that has sometimes been placed in a separate genus Padda. The chestnut-breasted mannikin L. castaneothorax is native to northern and eastern Australia and New Guinea but has been introduced to France and Tahiti; it has a brown back, black face, greyish nape, and a broad brown breast band above a white belly.

<==Lonchura Sykes 1832 B94
    |--L. nana BKB15 [=Spermestes nana S66]
    `--+--+--L. castaneothorax (Gould 1837) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
       |  `--L. oryzivora (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
       `--+--L. punctulata BKB15
          |    |--L. p. punctulata L81
          |    |--L. p. cabanisi L81
          |    `--L. p. topela L81
          `--+--+--L. leucogastroides JT12
             |  `--+--L. kelaarti JT12
             |     `--L. striata BKB15
             `--+--L. quinticolor BKB15
                `--+--L. malacca BKB15
                   |    |--L. m. malacca L81
                   |    |--L. m. ferruginosa L81
                   |    `--L. m. jagori L81
                   `--+--L. maja (Linnaeus 1776) JT12, WS48 [=Loxia maja WS48]
                      `--L. pallida JT12

Lonchura incertae sedis:
  L. atricapilla JT12 [=L. malacca atricapilla VP89]
  L. flaviprymna (Gould 1845) JT12, WS48 [=Donacola flaviprymna WS48, L. maja flaviprymna WS48]
  L. forbesi JT12
  L. fuscans JT12
  ‘Padda’ fuscata JT12
  L. grandis JT12
  L. hunsteini JT12
  L. leucogastra JT12
  L. leucosticta JT12 [=L. tristissima leucosticta M03]
  L. melaena JT12
  L. molucca JT12
  L. montana JT12
  L. monticola JT12
  L. nevermanni JT12
  L. nigerrima JT12
  L. spectabilis JT12
  L. stygia JT12
  L. teerinki JT12
  L. tristissima JT12
  L. vana JT12

Lonchura castaneothorax (Gould 1837) BKB15, CC10 [=Amadina castaneothorax CC10, Donacola castaneothorax CC10, Munia castaneithorax (l. c.) CC10; incl. Munia castaneothorax gangi Mathews 1912 WS48, Lonchura thorpei Mathews 1913 WS48]

Lonchura oryzivora (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, CC10 [=Loxia oryzivora CC10, Munia orizyvora (l. c.) CC10, M. oryzivora CC10, Padda oryzivora CC10]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1–281.

[BKB15] Burleigh, J. G., R. T. Kimball & E. L. Braun. 2015. Building the avian tree of life using a large-scale, sparse supermatrix. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 53–63.

[CC10] Checklist Committee (OSNZ). 2010. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica 4th ed. Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Te Papa Press: Wellington.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444–448.

[L81] Long, J. L. 1981. Introduced Birds of the World: The worldwide history, distribution and influence of birds introduced to new environments. Reed: Sydney.

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

[S66] Schlegel, H. 1866. Communication from, on mammals and birds collected in Madagascar. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 419–426.

[VP89] Viney, C., & K. Phillipps. 1989. Birds of Hong Kong 5th ed. Government Printer: Hong Kong.

[WS48] Whittell, H. M., & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1–126.

Last updated: 8 July 2019.

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