Family Birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae)

Least Concern

Glossy-mantled Manucode (Manucodia ater)


French: Paradisier noir German: Glanzparadieskrähe Spanish: Ave del paraíso negra

Phonygama ater


, 1830,

Dorey, north-west New Guinea


Geographical variation largely clinal; sometimes considered monotypic, as differences reputedly minor. Race alter sometimes treated as a separate species#R on basis of apparently distinctive differences in morphology and voice. Listed distribution of subalter uncertain, and biogeographically odd; study of geographical variation required. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. a. ater (Lesson, 1830) – Glossy-mantled Manucode – mainland New Guinea from Vogelkop E patchily to Huon Gulf and, in S, to Purari R.
  • M. a. subalter Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1929 – West Papuan Is (Gebe, Waigeo, Gam, Batanta, Salawati, Misool), Aru Is, and SE Peninsula of New Guinea (E from Kumusi R in N watershed and, in S, from NE Gulf of Papua).
  • M. a. alter Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1903 – Tagula Manucode – Tagula I, in Louisiade Archipelago (off SE New Guinea).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 38–42 cm, 170–315 g; female 33–37 cm, 155–252 g. Large paradisaeid with long, graduated tail; base of culmen ridge broadened and flattened to a... read more


    Male gives mournful, high-pitched drawn-out advertisement call (tone having quality of electical... read more


    Lowland rainforest, swamp-forest, forest edge, riverine and monsoon forests, woodlands, denser... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly fruits, especially figs (Ficus), possibly also flowers (perhaps nectar); also some animals, including insects and worms (... read more


    Season at least Aug–Mar; males with fairly enlarged gonads in Feb–May and much-enlarged ones Jun–Jan, egg-laying Jan, Mar... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common but inconspicuous; possibly sparsely distributed throughout fragmented range. Common and widespread in Aru Is. Appears not to be at... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2019). Glossy-mantled Manucode (Manucodia ater). 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 6 December 2019).