Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Maroon-bellied Sunbird (Leptocoma brasiliana)


French: Souimanga de Hasselt German: Blauglanz-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga ventrigranate

Certhia brasiliana

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

Brazil; error = Java


Until recently considered conspecific with L. sperata (with L. juliae), but differs in its maroon vs bright scarlet belly (3); metallic greenish-blue vs metallic green wing-coverts to rump and uppertail (2); metallic green vs metallic copper crown to nape (2); sooty-grey vs olive to yellow-olive lower belly to vent (ns[2]). Proposed races phayrei (Myanmar), oenopa (Nias I, off W Sumatra) and hypolampis (South Pagai I, off W Sumatra) all included in nominate; also, hasseltii (Java) is a synonym of nominate. Birds of this species recorded recently in N Vietnam probably belong to race emmae. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. b. brasiliana (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) – NE India (Assam, Tripura, Manipur), Bangladesh hills and W & SW Myanmar S to S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra (and islands off W coast except Simeulue), and W Java and Borneo.
  • L. b. emmae#R Delacour & Jabouille, 1928 – Cambodia, S Laos and S Vietnam (probably also this race in Tonkin).
  • L. b. mecynorhyncha (Oberholser, 1912) – Simeulue I (off W Sumatra).
  • L. b. eumecis (Oberholser, 1917) – Anamba Is, off E Peninsular Malaysia.
  • L. b. axantha (Oberholser, 1932) – N Natuna Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm. Adult male nominate has crown and nape iridescent emerald-green, face, neck and mantle deep black and slightly glossy, back to uppertail-coverts iridescent viridian... read more


    Song “psweet, psweet, psweet, psweet, psweet, psweet…psit-it, psitit, psweet, psweet…” or “sip-sip-... read more


    Found in many forest types, including Melaleuca and peatswamp-forest, heath forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including caterpillars and aphids (Aphidoidea); also nectar, fruit and seeds, e.g. of Saraca thaipingensis, Justicia... read more


    Laying recorded in Feb–May in Bangladesh, Apr–May and Jul in Thailand, probably late Jan–May and Jul (nestbuilding seen late Feb, Apr, May... read more


    Some seasonal movements recorded in Bangladesh and on Borneo. Apparently regularly crosses water to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally rare in India (no recent records in Tripura, Mizoram or Manipur); common in E Bangladesh (Sylhet), mainly Oct to mid Jan,... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Maroon-bellied Sunbird (Leptocoma brasiliana). 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 19 September 2019).