Family Fantails (Rhipiduridae)

Least Concern

Dimorphic Fantail (Rhipidura brachyrhyncha)


French: Rhipidure dimorphe German: Gebirgsfächerschwanz Spanish: Abanico dimorfo

Rhipidura brachyrhyncha


, 1871,

Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Individual variation seems to be greater than that between races; sometimes treated as monotypic#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. b. brachyrhyncha Schlegel, 1871 – Arfak Mts, in NW New Guinea.
  • R. b. devisi North, 1898 – mountains of C & E New Guinea (including Foja and Huon Peninsula).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16·5 cm; 9–10 g. Occurs as two plumage morphs, differing chiefly in colour of tail; mated pairs may comprise both morphs. Dark morph has head side, crown and... read more


    Song 2 high-pitched, rather slow notes followed by 7 rapidly uttered, descending tinkling notes;... read more


    Montane forest, particularly stunted moss forest, generally avoiding secondary growth; occupies... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Feeds in middle and lower storeys and to lesser extent in undergrowth, c. 0·5–2·5 m above ground, sometimes to 6 m, moving... read more


    A nest found on Mt Hagen, Papua New Guinea, contained one egg in Nov; nest was cup-shaped, with no ‘tail’, and was composed... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common. Predominance of morphs varies geographically: e.g. mainly or all dark in Wahgi Mts and Schrader Range, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. (2019). Dimorphic Fantail (Rhipidura brachyrhyncha). 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 17 November 2019).