Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone mutata)


French: Tchitrec malgache German: Rotbrust-Paradiesschnäpper Spanish: Monarca malgache

Muscicapa mutata


, 1766,



Genetic data#R suggest that races form three groups. Race singetra often synonymized with nominate, but differs in plumage of white morph. Race comorensis often misspelt “comoroensis”, which is an incorrect subsequent spelling. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. m. singetra (Salomonsen, 1933) – N, W & S Madagascar.
  • T. m. mutata (Linnaeus, 1766) – Madagascar Paradise-flycatcher – High Plateau and E Madagascar.
  • T. m. pretiosa (Lesson, 1847) – Mayotte (Maore), in E Comoro Is.
  • T. m. comorensis A. Milne-Edwards & Oustalet, 1885 – Grand Comoro Paradise-flycatcher – Grand Comoro (Ngazidja), in W Comoro Is.
  • T. m. voeltzkowiana Stresemann, 1924 – Mohéli (Mwali), in WC Comoros.
  • T. m. vulpina (E. Newton, 1877) – Comoros Paradise-flycatcher – Anjouan (Ndzuani), in C Comoros.
  • Descriptive notes

    18 cm (excluding male’s elongated central rectrices, which project up to 18 cm beyond others); male 12·3 g, female 12·1 g. Male occurs in two colour... read more


    A harsh “retret retret retretret” lasting 1–3 seconds, repeated at short... read more


    Primary forest of various types, also savanna, mangroves, degraded woodland, tree plantations,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly insects, especially aerial ones. Forages solitarily or in pairs; in deciduous dry forest of W Madagascar frequently forms two-... read more


    Season Sept–Jan, mainly from Nov, soon after rainy season starts; single-brooded. Socially monogamous, but circumstantial evidence... read more


    Resident. In NW Madagascar, a male colour-ringed as nestling established own territory a year later... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Nominate race widespread and common in Madagascar; in NW of island, up to 26 territories observed in 2·52 ha of forest during... read more

    Recommended citation

    Moeliker, K. (2017). Madagascar Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone mutata). 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 20 November 2017).