Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Purple-naped Spiderhunter (Arachnothera hypogrammica)


French: Arachnothère strié German: Streifenspinnenjäger Spanish: Arañero nuquiazul
Other common names: Purple-naped Sunbird

Nectarinia hypogrammica

S. Müller

, 1843,

Sumatra and Borneo


Tongue morphology unique within family. Species previously placed in monotypic genus Hypogramma, subsequently found to be preoccupied by a lepidopteran genus and replaced by name Kurochkinegramma#R; genetic data#R, however, indicate that it belongs in present genus. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. h. lisettae (Delacour, 1926) – N Myanmar, S China (SW Yunnan), N Thailand and N & C Indochina.
  • A. h. nuchalis (Blyth, 1843) – S Myanmar, S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.
  • A. h. mariae (Deignan, 1943) – S Indochina, including E Cambodia.
  • A. h. natunensis (Chasen, 1935) – N Natuna Is.
  • A. h. hypogrammica (S. Müller, 1843) – Sumatra and Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·7–15 cm; male 7·8–15·2g, female 9·7–13·5 g. Distinctive large sunbird with streaked underside. Male nominate race is... read more


    Song a high-pitched, strong “sweet-sweet-sweet, sweet, sweet”. Calls strident “... read more


    Variety of forest types, including peatswamp-forest, secondary growth, plantations, open swamps;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, spiders (Araneae), also nectar, fruits and seeds. Generally forages low down, below 5 m, but sometimes higher. Raids spider webs... read more


    Laying at least Mar and May–Jul in Malay Peninsula, where juveniles recorded Jan–Oct; in Borneo, laying Aug in NW (Sarawak),... read more


    None recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon in Thailand; common in parts of S Laos; common in Peninsular Malaysia; locally common in Sumatra and Borneo. Occurs in several protected... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2020). Purple-naped Spiderhunter (Arachnothera hypogrammica). 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 28 January 2020).