Family Birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae)

Least Concern

Splendid Astrapia (Astrapia splendidissima)


French: Paradisier splendide German: Prachtparadieselster Spanish: Ave del paraíso espléndida

Astrapia splendidissima


, 1895,

“Probably Charles-Louis Mountains” = Weyland Mountains, New Guinea


Sometimes treated as monotypic, but race helios appears sufficiently distinctive to warrant recognition. Proposed race elliottsmithorum (Mt Ifal, in Victor Emanuel Mts) included in helios#R. E limits of species’ distribution uncertain. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. splendidissima Rothschild, 1895 – Weyland Mts and Charles Louis Range E to L Paniai (Wissel Lakes), in W New Guinea.
  • A. s. helios Mayr, 1936 – from E of L Paniai E to Hindenburg Mts and at least to Victor Emanuel Range.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 39 cm, 120–151 g; female 37 cm, 108–151 g. Medium-sized astrapia with long, markedly graduated tail. Male nominate race has brilliantly iridescent metallic... read more


    Male produces nasal insect-like "to-ki", second note rising; similar "teek-teek... read more


    Montane and subalpine forests to tree-line, also forest edge and associated secondary growth; 1750... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly fruits; also animals, including arthropods, frogs, lizards. Forages from canopy down to undergrowth, taking items on moss-covered... read more


    Nest-building recorded in Mar, juvenile seen in Aug, egg in Oct and nestling in Nov. Observation of four calling adult males perched on... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Central Papuan Mountains EBA. CITES II. Common and widespread in Okbap area of Star Mts (in E of range) at c.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). Splendid Astrapia (Astrapia splendidissima). 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 27 January 2020).