Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-eared Spiderhunter (Arachnothera chrysogenys)


French: Arachnothère à joues jaunes German: Gelbwangen-Spinnenjäger Spanish: Arañero carigualdo

Nectarinia chrysogenys


, 1826,

Bantam district, Java


Additional proposed races are astilpna (described from Bokpyin, in Tenasserim), intensiflava (Kossoom, Tenasserim), copha (Tapanuli Bay, in NW Sumatra), pleoxantha (Mt Lembu, on Nias I) and isopega (Pagai Is, off W Sumatra), all considered inseparable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. c. chrysogenys (Temminck, 1826) – Extreme S Myanmar (S Tenasserim), S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Riau and Lingga Archipelagos, Sumatra and most satellites, W Borneo and W Java.
  • A. c. harrissoni Deignan, 1957 – E Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    17–18 cm; 22–23·5 g. Male nominate race has head and upperparts olive-green, suffused golden on mantle, becoming brighter on rump, with large yellow cheek patch... read more


    Rough “chit”; flight call high-pitched “twit-twit-twit-twee-ee”, last note protracted.


    Various forest types, including peatswamp-forest, mangroves and secondary forest, forest edge, also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, spiders (Araneae); nectar, pollen and small fruits. Forages singly, sometimes in pairs, and occasionally in small groups, mostly... read more


    Laying in Jan, Apr and May in Malay Peninsula, May–Jun in S Sumatra (Lampung) and Dec in Java; in Borneo, laying in Feb–Mar in... read more


    None recorded. May cross water to and from Singapore.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common in S Myanmar and Malay Peninsula; rare in Singapore; local and uncommon in Sumatra; rare in Java and very scarce in Borneo.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Yellow-eared Spiderhunter (Arachnothera chrysogenys). 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 September 2019).