Family Fairy-wrens (Maluridae)

Least Concern

Wallace's Fairy-wren (Sipodotus wallacii)


French: Mérion de Wallace German: Rostnacken-Staffelschwanz Spanish: Maluro de Wallace

Todopsis wallacii

G. R. Gray

, 1862,

Vogelkop, New Guinea


Has sometimes been placed in Malurus; see also M. cyanocephalus. Form coronatus perhaps of doubtful validity#R; when species placed in Malurus, name coronatus preoccupied, and must be replaced by capillatus#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. w. wallacii (G. R. Gray, 1862) – Misool, Yapen, Vogelkop and N coast of New Guinea.
  • S. w. coronatus (Gould, 1878) – Aru Is and S New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 11–12·5 cm; 7–8 g. Male nominate race has crown and nape black with light blue feather tips; black face, white incomplete eyering, white lanceolate ear-... read more


    Little known; sibilant “see see see see” contact calls emitted by foraging parties.


    Rainforest at 100–800 m, occasionally higher, to c. 1250 m; more in trees than in undergrowth. read more

    Food and feeding

    Presumed largely insectivorous. Forages mainly 2–10 m above ground in tangles of climbers at edge of openings in forest, particularly... read more


    Throughout year, with peak in Sept–Dec. Three known nests, two of which were attended each by three adults. Nest domed, with hooded... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in foothill rainforest. Large-scale clearing of forest represents a potential threat.

    Recommended citation

    Rowley, I. & Russell, E. (2018). Wallace's Fairy-wren (Sipodotus 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 21 October 2018).