Scarlet-chested sunbird

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Scarlet-chested sunbird
Scarlet-chested sunbird, Chalcomitra senegalensis, at Lake Chivero, Harare, Zimbabwe - male (21247780653).jpg
Song recorded in Northern Transvaal, South Africa
Scientific classification
C. senegalensis
Binomial name
Chalcomitra senegalensis
(Linnaeus, 1766)
Chalcomitra senegalensis distribution map.png
  • Certhia senegalensis Linnaeus, 1766
  • Nectarinia senegalensis (Linnaeus, 1766)

The scarlet-chested sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis) is a species of bird in the Nectariniidae family. It is found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


In 1760 the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson included a description of the scarlet-chested sunbird in his Ornithologie based on a specimen collected in Senegal. He used the French name Le grimpereau violet du Sénégal and the Latin Certhia Senegalensis Violacea.[2] Although Brisson coined Latin names, these do not conform to the binomial system and are not recognised by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.[3] When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition, he added 240 species that had been previously described by Brisson.[3] One of these was the scarlet-chested sunbird. Linnaeus included a brief description, coined the binomial name Certhia senegalensis and cited Brisson's work.[4] This species is now placed in the genus Chalcomitra that was introduced by the German naturalist Ludwig Reichenbach in 1853.[5] Six subspecies are recognised.[6]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Nectarinia senegalensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  2. ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Volume 3. Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. pp. 660–661, Plate 34 fig 2. The two stars (**) at the start of the section indicates that Brisson based his description on the examination of a specimen.
  3. ^ a b Allen, J.A. (1910). "Collation of Brisson's genera of birds with those of Linnaeus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 28: 317–335.
  4. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1766). Systema naturae : per regna tria natura, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Volume 1, Part 1 (12th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 186.
  5. ^ Reichenbach, Ludwig (1853). Handbuch der Speciellen Ornithologie (in German). Dresden and Leipzig: Expedition der Vollständigsten Naturgeschichte. p. 277.
  6. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Dippers, leafbirds, flowerpeckers, sunbirds". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 10 May 2018.

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