Two subspecies of Coppersmith Barbet

posted in: Morphology-Develop. | 4

Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala) is found from the Indian subcontinent except the north-west, Sri Lanka, SW Yunnan, Sumatra, Java, Bali and the Philippines.

Nine subspecies of barbets are recognised. These can be divided into two basic groups. Subspceies celestinoi, delica, haemacephala, indica and mindanensis have yellow above and below the eye and yellow chin and throat. In the other group of subspecies, mainly rosea, homochroa, intermedia and cebuensis, the yellow is replaced by red.

The Singapore subspecies is indica (above left), which has a range of NE Pakistan E to S China, S to Sri Lanka, Singapore and Vietnam. Subspecies rosea (above right) is found in Java and Bali.

David Tan
July 2010

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Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

4 Responses

  1. Margie Hall

    Okay, but precisely which subspecies are shown in the two photos?

  2. Ragoo Rao

    Good obseravation, the one with the Yellow markings are the ones found in the Southern part of the country.

  3. Dharmadeva Golez

    I think the red face is the subspecies of the common Barbet which also can be find in my lace Madalag, Aklan, Philippines.

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