Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-bellied Monarch (Monarcha castaneiventris)


French: Monarque à ventre marron German: Schwarzrückenmonarch Spanish: Monarca ventricastaño

Monarcha castaneiventris

J. P. Verreaux

, 1858,

Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands


Race erythrostictus previously treated as a separate species, but genetically#R and morphologically belongs with present species, although sufficiently different to be considered a single-taxon subspecies group. In contrast, the forms M. megarhynchus and M. ugiensis, typically considered races of present species, are here treated as full species (see below). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. c. erythrostictus (Sharpe, 1888) – Bougainville Monarch – Buka, Bougainville and Shortland Is (NW Solomons).
  • M. c. castaneiventris J. P. Verreaux, 1858 – Chestnut-bellied Monarch – Solomon Is (Choiseul, Santa Isabel, Guadalcanal, Savo, Florida and Malaita).
  • M. c. obscurior Mayr, 1935 – Russell Is (EC Solomons).
  • Descriptive notes

    17 cm; 22–28·5 g, 28–33·5g (ugiensis). Medium-sized, glossy blue-black monarch. Male nominate race has head to centre of breast, side of neck and... read more


    Song a rapid series of whistles, “kwee kwee kwee kwee kwee”. Calls mostly a series of harsh buzzing... read more


    Primary forest and tall secondary forest, from sea-level to mountains. Race ugiensis... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food items not well known; mainly small invertebrates. Solitary or in pairs, but mostly in small parties and mixed-species foraging flocks... read more


    One observation of an adult feeding a fledged juvenile Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus) on Guadalcanal, in Jul. No other... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Solomon Group EBA. Common within its small range. Common in reasonably undisturbed forest and relatively common... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2017). Chestnut-bellied Monarch (Monarcha castaneiventris). 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 20 November 2017).