Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Golden Monarch (Carterornis chrysomela)


French: Monarque doré German: Goldmonarch Spanish: Monarca dorado

Muscicapa chrysomela

Lesson and Garnot

, 1827,

New Ireland, Bismarck Archipelago


Biak form kordensis notably distinctive (very deep orange-yellow, very small area of black on back, sexes similar but female lacks black face#R#R). Geographical variation otherwise largely clinal, although races aruensis (increased black on mantle, back and scapulars) and pulcherrimus (no black in that area) relatively distinctive. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. melanonotus (P. L. Sclater, 1877) – West Papuan Is (Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, Misool) and NW New Guinea (Vogelkop, Bomberai).
  • C. c. kordensis (A. B. Meyer, 1874) – Biak I (in Geelvink Bay), in NW New Guinea.
  • C. c. aruensis (Salvadori, 1874) – S New Guinea (S lowlands and Trans-Fly E to Purari R); Aru Is, off SW New Guinea.
  • C. c. aurantiacus (A. B. Meyer, 1891) – N New Guinea (NW lowlands and Sepik–Ramu Basin).
  • C. c. nitidus (De Vis, 1897) – S & E New Guinea, including Huon Peninsula and D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago.
  • C. c. chrysomela (Lesson & Garnot#R, 1827) – New Hanover and New Ireland, in Bismarck Archipelago.
  • C. c. pulcherrimus (Salomonsen, 1964) – Djaul I, off NW New Ireland.
  • C. c. tabarensis (Mayr, 1955) – Tabar Is, off E New Ireland.
  • C. c. whitneyorum (Mayr, 1955) – Lihir Is, off E New Ireland.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–14 cm; 13–15·5 g. A small monarch with plumage strikingly black and golden-yellow. Male nominate race has upper forehead and crown orange or burnt-orange,... read more


    Male frequently calls and sings. Song a pleasant, loud, musical rolling warble, “ditoweet duweet... read more


    Forest, including monsoon forest, hill forest and gallery forest, usually along edges, clearings... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food largely small invertebrates, including grasshoppers (Orthoptera). Solitary, in pairs and within mixed-species foraging flocks, usually... read more


    Season May–Dec. Territorial. Displaying male perches on horizontal branch close to female, lowers head towards branch, with neck... read more


    Generally resident. Single record from Mt Baining, on New Britain.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or locally common. Density at a rainforest study site in New Guinea estimated at 10 individuals/10 ha.

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2018). Golden Monarch (Carterornis chrysomela). 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 15 July 2018).