Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Near Threatened

Sula Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx wallacii)


French: Martin-pêcheur des Sula German: Sulazwergfischer Spanish: Martín pigmeo de Sula

Ceyx wallacii


, 1868,

Sula Islands


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 (morphologically and geographically closest) C. cajeli in its royal-blue vs pale turquoise crown spots and wing-covert spots, with pale turquoise vs silvery-blue dorsum (3), royal-blue-spotted vs all-black malar area (2), and much richer orange-rufous vs rufous-buff lores, ear-covert patch and underparts (2); it differs from C. lepidus in its sparser, narrower royal-blue crown spots and paler dorsum (2), greatly reduced extent of spotting on wings, rendering them mostly black (2), orange-buff vs whitish-buff ear-covert patch (2), longer wing (n=3, but these longer than in cajeli; see below) (at least 1). Monotypic.


Sula Is (Seho, Taliabu, Mangole, Sanana).

Descriptive notes

14 cm. Small kingfisher with three toes. Both sexes of nominate race have orange loral spot, white bar on side of neck, blackish head and wings spotted with pale blue, back... read more


Apparently unknown.


Forested areas, but the species’ level of dependency on primary or other closed forest types is... read more

Food and feeding

No information, although diet and behaviour are presumably similar to those of other members of the species complex (see Taxonomy comments).


Nothing known.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Considered common on Taliabu in the early 1990s. Population provisionally estimated at between 2500 and 10,000... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Sula Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx wallacii). 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 19 February 2019).