Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)


Sumatran Mesia (Leiothrix laurinae)


French: Léiothrix de Sumatra German: Sumatrasonnenvogel Spanish: Leiótrix de Sumatra

Leiothrix laurinae


, 1879,

Mt Singgalang [00°24’ S, 100°20’ E], western Sumatra


Hitherto treated as conspecific with L. argentauris, but differs in its dull coppery-red vs dull orange-yellow throat and breast in female (3); rich coppery-red vs strong ochre undertail-coverts in female (3); dull coppery-red vs orange-ochre hindcollar and upper mantle in both sexes (ns[1]); dull brownish vs pale yellowish-olive belly (2); more olive, less grey lower mantle, back and wing-coverts (ns[1]); longer wings and tail but not bill (effect size for male wing 2.0, score 2). Single available recording suggests only minor vocal difference#R; iris colour pale yellow in nominate but dark in race rookmakeri. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. l. rookmakeri (Junge, 1948) – highlands of N Sumatra (Aceh).
  • L. l. laurinae Salvadori, 1879 – highlands of Sumatra (except N).
  • Introduced in Hong Kong.

    Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm. Small, distinctive babbler. Male nominate race has small orange-tinged yellow patch on centre of lower forehead above bill base, jet-black crown to lores, forecheek... read more


    Very limited information. Song apparently a single downslurred whistle (highest in pitch, reaching... read more


    Montane and submontane evergreen forest, at 600–2100 m.

    Food and feeding

    Very few data on natural population in Sumatra; presumably feeds on insects and their larvae and on fruits. In study of introduced Hong... read more


    No definite information.



    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Rare. This newly split species, confined to montane evergreen forest on Sumatra, has suffered a very rapid decline across most of its range, presumably as a... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Sumatran Mesia (Leiothrix laurinae). 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 24 February 2020).