Orange-crowned fairywren

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Orange-crowned fairywren
Naturalis Biodiversity Center - RMNH.AVES.18609 1 - Clytomyias insignis oorti Rothschild and Hartert, 1907 - Maluridae - bird skin specimen.jpeg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Maluridae
Genus: Clytomyias
Sharpe, 1879
Species: C. insignis
Binomial name
Clytomyias insignis
Sharpe, 1879

The orange-crowned fairywren (Clytomyias insignis) is a species of bird in the Maluridae family. It is monotypic within the genus Clytomyias.[2] It is found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

First collected in the Arfak Mountains, the orange-crowned fairywren was described by Richard Bowdler Sharpe in 1879.[3] Molecular study indicates it forms a clade with the emu-wrens of the genus Stipiturus.[4] Two subspecies are recognised, the nominate subspecies insignis from the Bird's Head Peninsula in far western New Guinea, and subspecies oorti from the highlands of central New Guinea, ranging from western Irian Jaya to the Owen Stanley Range of southeastern Papua New Guinea.[5] The latter was described in 1907 by Rothschild and Hartert.[3]

Unlike many other species of fairywren, there is no sexual dimorphism: the male and female have the same plumage. The head is a rusty orange colour, the thighs and tail rufous, the back olive brown and the wings brown. The bill is relatively broad compared with other fairywrens and is black in colour. The eyes are dark brown, and the legs pinkish brown. The two subspecies are distinguishable by their underparts, which are cream-white in insignis and more ochre-coloured in oorti.[3]

The orange-crowned fairywren is found in thick undergrowth of montane rainforest at an altitude of 2,000–3,000 m (6,600–9,800 ft). It is generally encountered in pairs or small groups of six to eight birds. Very little is known about its courtship behaviour or breeding.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Clytomyias insignis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "ITIS Report: Clytomyias". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Rowley & Russell, p. 199.
  4. ^ Christidis L, Schodde R (1997). "Relationships within the Australo-Papuan Fairy-wrens (Aves: Malurinae): an evaluation of the utility of allozyme data". Australian Journal of Zoology. 45 (2): 113–129. doi:10.1071/ZO96068. Retrieved 2007-09-20. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ a b Rowley & Russell, p. 201.

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