Family Ioras (Aegithinidae)

Least Concern

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)


French: Petit Iora German: Garteniora Spanish: Iora común

Motacilla Tiphia


, 1758,

vicinity of Calcutta, West Bengal, India


Has often been treated as conspecific with A. nigrolutea, but differs in details of morphology, plumage and vocalizations. Delineation of (sometimes well-marked) races complicated by individual variation in amount of black on cap and upper body of males, male eclipse plumages, some broad geographical intergradation zones (especially in Indian Subcontinent), and inter-population convergence (including of colour tones of eclipse plumages). Proposed races singapurensis and micromelaena of Malay Peninsula and islands absorbed within range of variation of horizoptera; forms trudiae (Brunei Bay, in N Borneo) and djungkulanensis (extreme W Java) treated as local intergrades between larger neighbouring entities. Eleven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. t. septentrionalis Koelz, 1939 – foot of NW Himalayas in N India (Punjab, Himachal Pradesh).
  • A. t. tiphia (Linnaeus, 1758) – foot of Himalayas from N India (E from Punjab) E to Bangladesh, and adjacent W Myanmar.
  • A. t. humei E. C. S. Baker, 1922 – C Indian Subcontinent (E from Rajasthan).
  • A. t. multicolor (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – extreme S India and Sri Lanka.
  • A. t. philipi Oustalet, 1886 – #RSC China (Yunnan), E Myanmar, N & C Thailand and N & C Indochina.
  • A. t. deignani B. P. Hall, 1957 – Myanmar (except W, E & S).
  • A. t. horizoptera Oberholser, 1912 – S Myanmar and C Thailand S to Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra and satellites (Nias I, Riau and Lingga Archipelagos, Bangka).
  • A. t. cambodiana B. P. Hall, 1957 – SE Thailand and S Indochina.
  • A. t. aequanimis Bangs, 1922 – W Philippines (Palawan) and N Borneo (Sabah), and satellite islands.
  • A. t. viridis (Bonaparte, 1850) – Borneo (except N).
  • A. t. scapularis (Horsfield, 1821) – Java and Bali.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–13·5 cm; male 13–17 g, female 12–15 g (humei). Male nominate race breeding plumage (acquired by partial spring moult) has... read more


    Female repertoire poorly documented. Territorial males noisy, vocally interactive, with range of... read more


    Mangroves are about the only natural closed-canopy evergreen forest inhabited permanently.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and other arthropods; rumoured to take small fruits, but this unconfirmed. Recorded preying on a bush frog. Prey items range... read more


    Season Dec/Jan–Sept in Indian Subcontinent, but more tightly constrained to monsoon rain (to which said to react fast) in more... read more


    Resident. Apparently local seasonal movements have been alleged to occur in W India (Kathiawar... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common more or less throughout range. Thrives even in suburbia; is a familiar sight in e.g. the planted parklands of Singapore city.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wells, D. (2019). Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia). 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 May 2019).