Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Scarlet minivet

Binomial name: Pericrocotus speciosus (John Aubrey Clarendon Latham, 1790)

The scarlet minivet (Pericrocotus speciosus) is a small passerine bird. This minivet is found in tropical southern Asia from the Indian subcontinent east to southern China, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are common resident breeding birds in forests and other well-wooded habitats including gardens, especially in hilly country. While the male of most subspecies are scarlet to orange with black upper parts, the females are usually yellow with greyish olive upper parts. Several former subspecies have been elevated to species status in recent works. These include the orange minivet. All subspecies have the same habits of gleaning for insects and are often seen in mixed-species foraging flocks, usually foraging in small groups, high up in the forest canopy.


The scarlet minivet is 20 – 22 cm long with a strong dark beak and long wings. The male has black upperparts and head, and scarlet underparts, tail edges, rump and wing patches. The shape and colour of the wing patches and the shade or orange in the male varies across populations. In the subspecies nigroluteus and marchesae from south Philippines the scarlet/orange is entirely replaced by yellow. The female is grey above, with yellow underparts (including the face), tail edges, rump and wing patches.

Ecology and behaviour

This minivet catches insects in trees by flycatching or while perched. It flushes insects out of foliage by beating its wings hard. Scarlet minivet will form small flocks. Its song is a pleasant whistling. This bird nests high up in the treetops. The nest is a cup-like structure woven with small twigs and spiders' webs to increase the strength of the nest. Two or three spotted pale green eggs are laid. Incubation is mainly by the female, but both birds help to raise the offspring.

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Scientific classification

Pericrocotus speciosus


  • Pericrocotus speciosus andamanensis (Robert Cecil Beavan, 1867) - Andaman Islands
  • Pericrocotus speciosus exul (Alfred Russel Wallace, 1864) - Lombok
  • Pericrocotus speciosus flammifer (Allan Octavian Hume, 1875) - Found in southern Myanmar, southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia
  • Pericrocotus speciosus fohkiensis (Sergei Aleksandrovich Buturlin, 1910) - Found in southeastern China
  • Pericrocotus speciosus fraterculus (Robert Swinhoe, 1870) - Found in the northeast of India and extends into Myanmar, Yunnan and Hainan
  • Pericrocotus speciosus gonzalesi (Sidney Dillon Ripley & Dioscoro Siarot Rabor, 1961) - N & E Mindanao
  • Pericrocotus speciosus insulanus (Herbert Girton Deignan, 1946) - Borneo
  • Pericrocotus speciosus johnstoniae (William Robert Ogilvie-Grant, 1905) - Mt. Apo in southeastern Mindanao
  • Pericrocotus speciosus leytensis (Joseph Beal Steere, 1890) - Samar, Leyte and Bohol
  • Pericrocotus speciosus marchesae (Francis Henry Hill Guillemard, 1885) - Sulu Archipelago
  • Pericrocotus speciosus minythomelas (Harry Church Oberholser, 1912) - An insular form described from Simeulue Island off Sumatra.
  • Pericrocotus speciosus modiglianii (Tommaso Salvadori, 1892) - Enggano Island
  • Pericrocotus speciosus nigroluteus (Kenneth Carroll Parkes, 1981) - South central Mindanao
  • Pericrocotus speciosus novus (Ernest Alexander McGregor, 1904) - Luzon and Negros
  • Pericrocotus speciosus semiruber (Hugh Whistler & Norman Boyd Kinnear, 1933) - Found in southern Myanmar and Thailand
  • Pericrocotus speciosus siebersi (Bernhard Rensch, 1928) - Java and Bali
  • Pericrocotus speciosus speciosus (John Aubrey Clarendon Latham, 1790) - Himalayas
  • Pericrocotus speciosus xanthogaster (Thomas Stamford Raffles, 1822) - Found in the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra

Scarlet minivet is found in following locations in Thailand

Please note that this non-official list is not complete nor necessarily accurate. This list is a summary of checklists from other websites, blogs, publications, photo/videos published on various websites or our own findings. We appreciate your contributions with photo proof.

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range map of Pericrocotus speciosus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are generated automatically based on very limited data we have about the protected sites, the data is not necessarily accurate. Please help us to improve our range maps by sharing your findings/knowledge.