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Dicaeum cruentatum (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Passeroidea

Familia: Dicaeidae
Genus: Dicaeum
Species: Dicaeum cruentatum
Subspecies: D. c. batuense - D. c. cruentatum - D. c. niasense - D. c. nigrimentum - D. c. simalurense - D. c. sumatranum

Dicaeum cruentatum (Linnaeus, 1758)
Original combination: Certhia cruentata


Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiæ: impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii. i–ii, 1–824 pp DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.542: 119. Reference page.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Scharlachmistelfresser
English: Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
español: Picaflores dorsirrojo
suomi: Veriselkäkukastaja
français: Dicée à dos rouge
magyar: Skarláthátú virágjáró
Bahasa Indonesia: Cabai Merah (burung)
português: Dicaeum cruentatum
svenska: Rödryggad blomsterpickare
ไทย: นกสีชมพูสวน
Tiếng Việt: Chim sâu lưng đỏ
中文: 朱背啄花鸟

The scarlet-backed flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) is a species of passerine bird in the flowerpecker family Dicaeidae. Sexually dimorphic, the male has navy blue upperparts with a bright red streak down its back from its crown to its tail coverts, while the female and juvenile are predominantly olive green. It is found in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and occasionally gardens in a number of countries throughout South and East Asia.

In 1747 the English naturalist George Edwards included an illustration and a description of the scarlet-backed flowerpecker in the second volume of his A Natural History of Uncommon Birds. He used the English name "The little Black, White, and Red Indian Creeper". Edwards based his hand-coloured etching on a preserved specimen that had been sent from Bengal to the silk-pattern designer and naturalist Joseph Dandridge in London.[2] When in 1758 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the tenth edition, he placed the scarlet-backed flowerpecker with the treecreepers in the genus Certhia. Linnaeus included a brief description, coined the binomial name Certhia cruentata and cited Edwards' work.[3] The scarlet-backed flowerpecker is now placed in the genus Dicaeum that was introduced by the French naturalist Georges Cuvier in 1816.[4][5] The genus name is from the Ancient Greek dikaion. Cuvier claimed that this was a word for a very small Indian bird mentioned by the Roman author Claudius Aelianus but the word probably referred instead to the scarab beetle Scarabaeus sacer. The specific epithet cruentata is from Latin cruentatus meaning "blood-stained".[6]

Genetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA of 70% of flowerpecker species showed the scarlet-backed and black-fronted flowerpecker (D. igniferum) - which is endemic to the Indonesian Lesser Sunda Islands - to be each other's closest relative; the males of both species have red plumage on their backs.[7]

Six subspecies are recognised:[5]

D. c. cruentatum (Linnaeus, 1758) – east Himalayas and Bangladesh to south China, Indochina, Malay Peninsula and Myanmar
D. c. sumatranum Cabanis, 1877 – Sumatra
D. c. niasense Meyer de Schauensee & Ripley, 1940 – island of Nias (off west Sumatra)
D. c. batuense Richmond, 1912 – Batu and Mentawai Islands (off southwest Sumatra)
D. c. simalurense Salomonsen, 1961 – island of Simeulue (off northwest Sumatra)
D. c. nigrimentum Salvadori, 1874 – Borneo


Measuring 9 cm (3.5 in) and weighing 7 to 8 grams (0.25 to 0.28 oz), the scarlet-backed flowerpecker is a small bird with a short tail. It exhibits sexual dimorphism. The male has a navy blue face, wings and tail, with a broad bright red stripe from its crown to its upper tail coverts. The female is predominantly olive green with a black tail and scarlet upper tail coverts and rump. Both sexes have creamy white underparts, black eyes and legs, and a dark grey arched bill. The juvenile has plumage similar to the female but has an orange bill and lacks the bright red rump.[8]
Distribution and habitat

It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. No global population studies have been undertaken; it is thought to be common throughout most of its range particular in Thailand, although it is considered rare in Bhutan and Nepal.[1] It is found up to 1000 m (3500 ft), in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, wooded areas and gardens.[8] In the north of its range, it is found in southeastern China to Fujian (as the subspecies Dicaeum c. cruentatum).[8] It has been recorded from both native and plantation forest in West Bengal in India.[9]

It has been observed feeding on the figs of Ficus fistulosa and F. grossularoides in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore.[10] It visits Syzygium jambos in urban Hong Kong.[11]

The scarlet-backed flowerpecker weaves its pouch-shaped nest hanging from a branch high up in a tree. The nest has a side entrance, typical for those of the flowerpecker family.[12]


BirdLife International (2016). "Dicaeum cruentatum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22717584A94540930. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22717584A94540930.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
Edwards, George (1747). A Natural History of Uncommon Birds. Vol. Part II. London: Printed for the author at the College of Physicians. p. 81, Plate 81.
Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 119.
Cuvier, Georges (1816). Le Règne animal distribué d'après son organisation : pour servir de base a l'histoire naturelle des animaux et d'introduction a l'anatomie comparée (in French). Vol. 1. Paris: Déterville. pp. 410–411. The volume has the year 1817 printed on the title page but was published in 1816. See: Dickinson, E.C.; Overstreet, L.K.; Dowsett, R.J.; Bruce, M.D. (2011). Priority! The Dating of Scientific Names in Ornithology: a Directory to the literature and its reviewers. Northampton, UK: Aves Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-9568611-1-5.
Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2021). "Dippers, leafbirds, flowerpeckers, sunbirds". IOC World Bird List Version 11.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 123, 135. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Nyária, Árpád S.; Peterson, A. Townsend; Rice, Nathan H.; Moyle, Robert G. (2009). "Phylogenetic relationships of flowerpeckers (Aves: Dicaeidae): Novel insights into the evolution of a tropical passerine clade". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 53 (3): 613–19. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.06.014. hdl:1808/6569. PMID 19576993.
Brazil, Mark (2009). Birds of East Asia. A&C Black. p. 444. ISBN 978-0-7136-7040-0.
S. Sivakumar; Jeejo Varghese & Vibhu Prakash (2006). "Abundance of birds in different habitats in Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal, India" (PDF). Forktail. 22: 128–33.
Peh, Kelvin S.-H.; Chong, Fong Lin (2003). "Seed dispersal agents of two Ficus species in a disturbed tropical forest". Ornithological Science. 2 (2): 119–25. doi:10.2326/osj.2.119.
Corlett, Richard T. (2005). "Interactions between birds, fruit bats and exotic plants in urban Hong Kong, South China". Urban Ecosystems. 8 (3–4): 275–283. doi:10.1007/s11252-005-3260-x. S2CID 31278644.
Strange, Morten (2000). Photographic Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia. Singapore: Periplus. p. 365. ISBN 962-593-403-0.

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