Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)


Plain-backed Kingfisher (Actenoides regalis)


French: Martin-chasseur royal German: Königsliest Spanish: Alción rey

Monachalcyon princeps regalis


, 1932,

Tanke Salokko, 2000 m, Mengkoka Mountains, south-eastern Sulawesi


Hitherto considered conspecific with A. princeps, but (from evidence of only known two specimens) differs on account of black vs dark blue forecrown and “face” (malar area to ear-coverts) and dull blue-green vs dark blue mid-crown to hindcrown (3); lack of buff barring on mantle, back and scapulars (2); much stronger buff on underparts (at least in female) (2). These two species occasionally placed in genus Monachalcyon. Monotypic.


SE Sulawesi.

Descriptive notes

24–25 cm. Medium-sized forest kingfisher with black face grading to blue-green over rest of head, with plain brownish upperparts and almost plain rufous below; bill has... read more


Apparently undescribed. Knowledge of its voice will unquestionably greatly enable future surveys... read more


Presumably similar to that occupied by formerly conspecifc A. princeps, i.e. the interior... read more

Food and feeding

Nothing known, though presumably similar to A. princeps.




Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Very poorly known, with apparently just two specimens in museum collections (one adult female and one immature male), and its overall population is thought to... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Plain-backed Kingfisher (Actenoides regalis). 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 22 November 2019).