Family Birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae)

Least Concern

Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise (Seleucidis melanoleucus)


French: Paradisier multifil German: Fadenparadiesvogel Spanish: Ave del paraíso filamentosa

Paradisea melanoleuca


, 1800,



Intergeneric hybridization with Lophorina magnifica and Paradisaea minor recorded. Races differ little; species sometimes treated as monotypic#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. m. melanoleucus (Daudin, 1800) – West Papuan Is (Salawati) and W & S New Guinea from Vogelkop E in N watershed to Mamberamo R and, in S watershed, to Port Moresby area and possibly to Milne Bay.
  • S. m. auripennis Schlüter, 1911 – N New Guinea from Mamberamo R to Ramu R.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 33 cm, 170–217 g; female 35 cm, 160–188 g. Male nominate race has entire head velvety black with iridescent coppery olive-green sheen, entire crown with... read more


    Male has two advertisement calls (accompanied by raising of open wings to expose yellow flanks): a... read more


    Flat lowland rainforest, notably swamp-forest permanently or seasonally flooded and supporting... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits, notably pandanus; also animals, mostly arthropods, but also small vertebrates (frogs, lizards); also flower nectar. Relative... read more


    Breeds Jan to late Oct/early Nov in SE (near Port Moresby); males with enlarged gonads in Jan–Feb and Jun–Dec, peak gonadal... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Inadequately known, in part because of largely impenetrable habitat. Appears in general to vary from being locally uncommon to common;... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2019). Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise (Seleucidis melanoleucus). 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 22 May 2019).