Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica)


French: Souimanga à croupion pourpre German: Ceylonnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga cingalés

Certhia zeylonica


, 1766,

Sri Lanka


Geographical variation minimal. Other proposed races, both from peninsular India, are whistleri (described from Muddur, in Karnataka) and sola (from Pondicherry, in Tamil Nadu), both considered unsustainable and included in flaviventris. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. z. flaviventris (Hermann, 1804) – India (from E Gujarat E to Meghalaya and S through entire peninsula) and Bangladesh; unconfirmed records in W Myanmar#R.
  • L. z. zeylonica (Linnaeus, 1766) – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    10 cm; male 7–11 g, female 7–7·9 g. Male nominate race has metallic green crown and shoulder patch, deep chestnut-maroon side of head, nape and back, and... read more


    Song a sharp twittering “tityou, tityou, tityou, trr-r-r-tit, tityou…”, also a... read more


    Various types of forest and jungle, including secondary forest, at forest edge, in farmland, dry... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including caterpillars, also spiders (Araneae); also nectar and grapes, and fruits of mistletoes (Loranthaceae) probably eaten.... read more


    Laying recorded in all months in India, peaks Mar–May in West Bengal, Dec–Apr and Jul–Sept (after monsoon) in S, and Jun... read more


    Resident. In Sri Lanka ascends to highest altitudes during NE monsoon.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Possible occurrence in W Myanmar requires corroboration. An important propagator of mistletoes, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica). 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 August 2019).