Family Asities (Philepittidae)

Least Concern

Velvet Asity (Philepitta castanea)


French: Philépitte veloutée German: Seidenjala Spanish: Filepita aterciopelada

Turdus castaneus

Statius Müller

, 1776,





Rainforest belt in E Madagascar, from Manongarivo and Tsaratanana Massifs in NW and just S of Daraina in N, S to Andohahela National Park.

Descriptive notes

14–16·5 cm. Plump, rounded, almost tailless, with short, slightly decurved bill, short legs. Adult male breeding plumage, acquired through loss of yellow tips of... read more


Weak squeaky calls; rhythmic, repeated “whee-doo”, first syllable strongly stressed;... read more


Primary rainforest, adjacent degraded and secondary rainforest, and forest edge; visits flowering... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly frugivorous; eats small (c. 5–10 mm diameter) red or orange fruits of understorey shrubs; most important families are... read more


Laying in Sept–Dec; from end Aug in N. Polygynous. Dispersed leks in which each male has small, non-resource-based territory; erect... read more


None known.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common in most remaining E rainforest blocks, and not immediately threatened. Also capable of tolerating some habitat... read more

Recommended citation

Hawkins, F. (2020). Velvet Asity (Philepitta castanea). 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 7 April 2020).