Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)


French: Capucin domino German: Spitzschwanz-Bronzemännchen Spanish: Capuchino culiblanco

Loxia striata


, 1766,

Bourbon Island [=Reunion]; error = Sri Lanka


All races apart from nominate sometimes considered a separate species, but differences not particularly strong and race acuticauda appears to intergrade with nominate in NE India. Form swinhoei appears distinctive; further research, including vocal and genetic analyses, desirable. Taiwan population sometimes separated as race phaethontoptila, but appears hardly different from swinhoei. Proposed race explita, a replacement for preoccupied sumatrensis (described from Tanjong Kassan, in Sumatra), treated as a synonym of subsquamicollis. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. s. striata (Linnaeus, 1766) – W & NE peninsular India, and Sri Lanka.
  • L. s. acuticauda (Hodgson, 1836) – N India (E from Uttarakhand) and S Nepal E in Himalayan foothills to Bangladesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Myanmar (except S), NW Thailand, N Laos and NW Vietnam (W Tonkin).
  • L. s. fumigata (Walden, 1873) – Andaman Is.
  • L. s. semistriata (A. O. Hume, 1874) – Nicobar Is.
  • L. s. subsquamicollis (E. C. S. Baker, 1925) – S Myanmar (Tenasserim), Thailand (except NW), C & S Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia S to Singapore, Sumatra and Bangka I.
  • L. s. swinhoei (Cabanis, 1882) – S & SE China (E from Yunnan to Shanghai), NE Vietnam (E Tonkin), Hainan and Taiwan; also Ryukyu Is, where perhaps natural colonists#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 9·5-13 g. Nominate race has forehead, face and throat to upper breast blackish-brown, crown to back dark brown with fine pale shaft streaks, rump white... read more


    Loud call or distance call of male a single "peep!", female gives double or churring... read more


    Dry open grassland to shrubby open country, forest edge, weedy clearings, thickets, plantations,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Grass seeds, mainly rice, also of other grasses (including Eragrostis), bamboo and sedge (Cyperaceae); also seeds from casuarina... read more


    Season prolonged, nearly all year in India (mainly Feb–Sept) and Thailand, and all year (mainly Jan–Aug) in Malay Peninsula;... read more


    Resident. Apparently highly mobile, as marked individuals in Malay Peninsula had low recapture rate... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common; uncommon in some parts of range. Locally common in Indian Subcontinent and in China; common throughout SE Asia, local in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata). 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 2020).