Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Fork-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga latouchii)


French: Souimanga à queue fourchue German: Gabelschwanz-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga de La Touche

Æthopyga latouchii


, 1891,

Chiong Pô, in hills west of Shantou


Hitherto treated as conspecific with A. christinae, but differs in its olive vs black mantle, scapulars, wing-coverts and back (3); dark blood-red vs maroon chin to upper breast (2); yellowish vs whitish lower breast to vent (1); and slightly shorter bill (mean 17.6 mm vs 18.2 although n=4 for christinae; allow 1). Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. l. latouchii Slater, 1891 – SE China (E Sichuan E to Fujian, S to Guangxi and Guangdong), N Vietnam and C Laos.
  • A. l. sokolovi Stepanyan, 1985 – S Vietnam.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–11 cm; 4·7–5·9 g. Adult male nominate race has forehead to nape metallic green, upperparts yellowish olive, rump yellow, uppertail-coverts metallic green, upperwing mostly... read more


    Song an accelerating “pe-et, pe-et, pit, pit”. Calls a loud, sharp “twisk”, singly or repeated up... read more


    Forest and forest edge, woodland; enters gardens in towns. Generally on lower hills, up to 1400 m.

    Food and feeding

    Little information. Diet includes seeds, nectar and presumably small arthropods. Visits flowering bushes and trees.


    Lays from Apr onwards in China. Nest pear-shaped, constructed from mosses, grasses, plant fibres, sometimes decorated with lichens, and... read more


    In China, moves into S Guangdong and C Fujian in winter months.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in China; fairly common within somewhat limited range in SE Asia. Occurs in Cuc Phuong National Park, in N Vietnam. This... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Fork-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga latouchii). 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 28 January 2020).