Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

New Ireland Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx mulcatus)


French: Martin-pêcheur de Nouvelle-Irlande German: Neuhannover-Zwergfischer Spanish: Martín pigmeo de Nueva Irlanda

Ceyx solitaria mulcata

Rothschild and E. J. O. Hartert

, 1914,

New Hanover


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 C. sacerdotis in its black vs two-toned bill (3); larger size (effect size for wing 2.38, score 2); richer and more continuous rufous on underparts from breast to undertail-coverts vs rufous on breast but belly shot with yellow and undertail-coverts pale yellow with rufous tinges (1); clean break of blue to whitish at malar vs narrow chestnut-rufous malar line or malar border, somewhat more prominent on female specimens (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

New Hanover, New Ireland, Tabar Is and Lihir Is (E Bismarck Archipelago).

Descriptive notes

14 cm; 15·5–21·6 g. Small, forest-based kingfisher with three toes. Adult has bright purple-blue upperparts with paler blue spotting on crown and wing-coverts, and slightly... read more


Not known to differ from other forms of the C. lepidus species complex in Melanesia.


Old-growth forest and dense second growth in lowlands and foothills, often found beside small... read more

Food and feeding

Nothing known.


No published information, but one female was in breeding condition in mid Oct.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: endemic to New Britain and New Ireland EBA. Generally described as fairly common, but is typically very unobtrusive and... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). New Ireland Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx mulcatus). 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 17 November 2019).