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Crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Subfamily: Circaetinae
Genus: Spilornis
G.R. Gray, 1840[1]

Spilornis is a genus of bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. As adults all have dark crowns, and bright yellow eyes and cere.[2] These medium-sized raptors are found in forests of southern Asia and are known as serpent-eagles; an English name shared with two African species from the genera Dryotriorchis and Eutriorchis.[2]


Greek: σπιλος spilos “spot”; ορνις ornis, ορνιθος ornithos “bird”.[3]


As traditionally defined, there are 6 species in this genus, but several small island populations that usually are included in the crested serpent eagle have been proposed split into separate species.[2]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Andaman Serpent Eagle Albin 1.jpg Spilornis elgini Andaman serpent eagle Andaman Islands in southeast India.
Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle (Spilornis klossi) by Shreeram MV.jpg Spilornis klossi Great Nicobar serpent eagle Indian island of Great Nicobar
Spilornis rufipectus Sulawesi serpent eagle Sulawesi in Indonesia
Spilornis cheela (Bandipur, 2008).jpg Spilornis cheela Crested serpent eagle across the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and East Asia
Philippine Serpent-Eagle.jpg Spilornis holospilus Philippine serpent eagle Philippines
Spilornis kinabaluensis Mountain serpent eagle northern Borneo


  1. ^ Gray, George Robert (1840). A List of the Genera of Birds. Richard and John E. Taylor. p. 3.
  2. ^ a b c Ferguson-Lees & Christie (2001). Raptors of the World. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-8026-1
  3. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2017). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". In del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (2018) (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.