Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)


French: Sucrier à ventre jaune German: Zuckervogel Spanish: Platanero

Certhia flaveola


, 1758,



Three clades, “bahamensis group” (Quintana Roo region of SE Mexico, and Bahamas), “flaveola group” (Cayman Is, Jamaica and Hispaniola), and “bartholemica group” (Puerto Rico, Lesser Antilles, Mexico except Quintana Roo, and Central and South America), revealed by genetic work#R; placement of SW Caribbean island races oblita (San Andrés) and tricolor (Providencia) remains uncertain. Remarkable geographical variation, especially in Caribbean islands. Number of races probably subject to revision, some races (or groups of races) perhaps worthy of species status and others poorly separated genetically; for example, roraimae could be subsumed into guianensis and alleni in chloropyga. Forty-one subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. f. caboti (S. F. Baird, 1873) – SE Mexico (Quintana Roo) and islands off NE Yucatán Peninsula (Holbox, Cancún, Cozumel, and Cayo Culebra).
  • C. f. bahamensis (Reichenbach, 1853) – Bahama Bananaquit – Bahamas (from Grand Bahama and Little Abaco SE to Great Inagua and Grand Turk).
  • C. f. sharpei (Cory, 1886) – Grand Cayman I, Little Cayman I, and Cayman Brac.
  • C. f. flaveola (Linnaeus, 1758) – Greater Antillean Bananaquit – Jamaica.
  • C. f. bananivora (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Hispaniola, Gonâve I, Petite Cayemite I and Î-à-Vache.
  • C. f. nectarea Wetmore, 1929 – Tortue I, off Haiti.
  • C. f. tricolor (Ridgway, 1884) – Providencia I, off E Nicaragua.
  • C. f. oblita Griscom, 1923 – San Andrés I, off E Nicaragua.
  • C. f. mexicana (P. L. Sclater, 1857) – SE Mexico (from C Veracruz and Oaxaca) S on Caribbean slope (and Pacific slope in Costa Rica) to W Panama (Veraguas, including Coiba I).
  • C. f. cerinoclunis Bangs, 1901 – Pearl Is, in Bay of Panama.
  • C. f. columbiana (Cabanis, 1866) – #RPanama (from Canal Zone) E through C & SW Colombia (Andes from Antioquia to Huila) to S Venezuela (extreme NW Amazonas).
  • C. f. portoricensis (H. Bryant, 1866) – Puerto Rico.
  • C. f. sanctithomae (Sundevall, 1869) – #RVieques I and Culebra I (off E Puerto Rico) and Virgin Is.
  • C. f. newtoni (S. F. Baird, 1873) – St Croix (S Virgin Is).
  • C. f. bartholemica (Sparrman, 1788) – Common Bananaquit – N & C Lesser Antilles (Anguilla, St Martin, Saba, St Bartholomew S to Guadeloupe, Marie Galante and Dominica).
  • C. f. martinicana (Reichenbach, 1853) – Martinique and St Lucia (SC Lesser Antilles).
  • C. f. barbadensis (S. F. Baird, 1873) – Barbados.
  • C. f. atrata (Lawrence, 1878) – St Vincent, in S Lesser Antilles.
  • C. f. aterrima (Lesson, 1830) – Grenada I and the Grenadines.
  • C. f. uropygialis Berlepsch, 1892 – Aruba and Curaçao, in Leeward Antilles.
  • C. f. bonairensis Voous, 1955 – Bonaire I, in Leeward Antilles.
  • C. f. melanornis Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1954 – Cayo Sal, off N Venezuela.
  • C. f. lowii Cory, 1909 – Los Roques Is, off N Venezuela.
  • C. f. ferryi Cory, 1909 – Tortuga I, off N Venezuela.
  • C. f. frailensis Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1946 – Los Frailes (Puerto Real) and Los Hermanos, off N Venezuela.
  • C. f. laurae Lowe, 1908 – Los Testigos Is, off N Venezuela.
  • C. f. luteola (Cabanis, 1851) – Colombia (Caribbean coast of Bolívar and Magdalena) and N Vene­zuela (Zulia E to Monagas, S to Apure and N Bolívar); Trinidad and Tobago.
  • C. f. bolivari J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1946 – E Venezuela (lower Orinoco Valley of Delta Amacuro, and N & E Bolívar from R Cuchivero S to lower R Paragua).
  • C. f. guianensis (Cabanis, 1851) – C Venezuela (lower Caura Valley) S & E across Guyana.
  • C. f. roraimae Chapman, 1929 – S Venezuela (N & E Amazonas, S Bolívar) and region of Cerros Roraima and Uei-tepui in Guyana and SE Venezuela.
  • C. f. minima (Bonaparte, 1854) – E Colombia (R Guainía) and S Venezuela (S half of Amazonas) E to French Guiana and NC Brazil (to Pará, N of R Amazon).
  • C. f. obscura Cory, 1913 – W Venezuela (E side of L Maracaibo, SE Zulia and below 1200 m in Andean foothills of Mérida and Táchira) and adjacent Colombia (Norte de Santander).
  • C. f. montana Lowe, 1912 – Venezuelan Andes (above 1200 m in Mérida and Táchira).
  • C. f. caucae Chapman, 1914 – Colombia in upper Cauca Valley and on slopes of C & W Andes (from Caldas S to Cauca).
  • C. f. intermedia (Salvadori & Festa, 1899) – SW Colombia (Nariño), W Ecuador and N Peru (from San Martín, and Loreto) E to W Brazil and S Venezuela (SW Amazonas).
  • C. f. gorgonae Thayer & Bangs, 1905 – Gorgona I, off W Colombia.
  • C. f. magnirostris (Taczanowski, 1880) – Peru in upper Marañón Valley (in Piura, Cajamarca and E La Libertad).
  • C. f. pacifica Lowe, 1912 – W Peru (NW Lambayeque, W La Libertad and Ancash).
  • C. f. dispar J. T. Zimmer, 1942 – C & SE Peru (from S San Martín) S to Bolivia (La Paz).
  • C. f. chloropyga (Cabanis, 1851) – C Peru (from Huánuco and Junín) S to C Bolivia (to Santa Cruz), then E across SC & E Brazil (to Ceará and Pernambuco, then S to Rio Grande do Sul) and S to E Paraguay, NE Argentina (Misiones) and extreme N Uruguay.
  • C. f. alleni Lowe, 1912 – E Bolivia (Santa Cruz) E to C Brazil (Mato Grosso).
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5–11 cm; 6·4–14·2 g. Distinctive for its bill shape, which is short, sharply pointed and decurved. Generally dark grey to dusky olive... read more


    Gives weak little “tsit” notes when foraging. A persistent singer, songs typically... read more


    Occurs in almost any shrubby or semi-open area or forest border in fairly dry to humid regions; in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds primarily on nectar; also takes some small fruits and berries and a few insects. Feeds many insects to young. Forages alone or in... read more


    In Caribbean region breeding cyclical, closely correlated with onset of rains, mainly Mar–Jun, occasionally in other months; in Costa... read more


    Generally resident. In most areas sedentary and territorial throughout year, but in dry areas local... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Varies from being uncommon, as in heavily forested areas, to being abundant, as on many Caribbean islands and also locally in gardens and parks in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. & Christie, D.A. (2018). Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 March 2018).