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Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by chrisli
Singapore, February 2009
Dicaeum cruentatum


Female, subspecies cruentatum
Photo © by linesiam
Bangkok, Thailand, September 2009

Size from 7-9 cm (2¾-3½ in)
Tricoloured, brillant scarlet from forehead to rump, black from sides of face down neck and wings to tail, bright red rump, pale whitish-grey below from throat down centre of breast and abdomen.
Female olive-grey with dark tail, bright red rump, pale whitish-grey below.


The Himalayas and southern China through South-East Asia to Sumatra and Borneo.



Juvenile female, subspecies nigrimentum
Photo © by Jason Bugay Reyes
Lok Kawi Botanical Park, Sabah, Borneo, September 2009
Juvenile male, subspecies cruentatum
Photo © by SEdwards7
Kaeng Krachan, Thailand, May 2018

Seven subspecies are recognized [1]:

  • D. c. cruentatum:
  • D. c. ignitum:
  • D. c. sumatranum:
  • D. c. batuense:
  • Mentawi Archipelago (off Sumatra)
  • D. c. simalurense:
  • Simeulue Island (off western Sumatra)
  • D. c. niasense:
  • Nias Island (off western Sumatra)
  • D. c. nigrimentum:


Humid lowland in tropical and subtropical areas. Frequents the canopy of primary forests, feeding in clusters of fruiting mistletoes. At the forest edges frequently feeds on fruiting Melastoma shrubs; and in gardens especially fruiting Muntingia trees.



Their diet consists mostly of fruit, which includes berries, figs and mistletoe.


Voice a frequent metallic tick often in flight.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2018)
  3. BF member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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