Ceyx lepida nigromaxilla
Rothschild and E. J. O. Hartert, 1905,
Until recently considered a race of C. lepidus (which see), but molecular analysis suggests species status#R and this is supported by morphological evidence: present species differs from all other taxa in the Variable Dwarf-kingfisher complex (see C. gentianus and C. sacerdotis) in its usual lack of brighter, paler dorsum, so mostly continuously deep blue above (otherwise found only in C. margarethae dark morph, which is richer blue and not counted here), but the dorsum of C. collectoris is also somewhat less bright (hence score 1); two-toned bill (shared only with C. sacerdotis, which see) (3); much richer chestnut-orange underparts (1); size smaller than two adjacent taxa (collectoris and gentianus) (−2.27 vs collectoris, −3.21 vs gentianus; score 2). Recent molecular evidence#R suggests that form malaitae is genetically as distinct as other taxa in the exploded Variable Dwarf-kingfisher complex, even placing it phylogenetically closest to C. meeki pallidus; given its apparently weak morphological distinctiveness from nigromaxilla—a yellow vs orange-red lower mandible indicated as the only difference#R; a white loral spot (orange according to some#R) and paler upperparts and underparts also mentioned#R—plus its proximity to the range of nigromaxilla and the facts that only a single specimen was sampled in the molecular study and that the form was described from a single (different) specimen#R, it is, however, retained here as a subspecies. Two subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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