Orange minivet

   ›      ›   Orange minivet - Pericrocotus flammeus

The orange minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus) belongs to the family of cuckooshrikes and minivets, the Campephagidae.

The orange minivet species is distributed in southwest India and Sri Lanka. This minivet species was formerly considered a subspecies of the scarlet minivet. These birds are monotypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Orange Minivet Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The orange minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus) is a medium sized minivet, measuring 18 to 23 cm in length and weighing 20 to 25 grams.

The male orange minivet has glossy black head, chin, throat and mantle. The wings have orange patches. The underparts, rump and undertail coverts are orange. The tail is black.

The female has gray upperparts and yellow underparts. The supercilium is yellow and the lore is gray. The irises are dark brown. The rump and uppertail are black.

The bill is black and the tip of the upper mandible is hooked. The irises are black. There is a dark gray eye-ring. The legs and feet are gray. The call of these species is a loud, whistling "sweep..sweep..sweep" or "weep..weep..wip..wip" sound.
Birds of India - Image of male Pericrocotus flammeus
1.Indian birds - Image of Orange minivet male - Pericrocotus flammeus by Vimal Rajyaguru

Indian birds - Image of female Pericrocotus flammeus
2.Birds of India - Image of Orange minivet female - Pericrocotus flammeus by Hafiz Issadeen

Birds of India - Image of Pericrocotus flammeus
3.Indian birds - Image of Orange minivet - Pericrocotus flammeus by Karunakanth

Indian birds - Image of Orange minivet - Pericrocotus flammeus
4.Birds of India - Image of Orange minivet - Pericrocotus flammeus by N A Nazeer

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The orange minivet species (Pericrocotus flammeus) was earlier considered nominate subspecies of scarlet minivet (nineteen subspecies). It is now elevated as a monotypic species. It is distributed in southwest India and Sri Lanka.

In India, these minivet species are distributed in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Ecosystem and habitat

These orange minivet species have medium forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 2000 meters. The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species includes rural gardens and plantations.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these species include tropical and subtropical moist montane forests, semi-evergreen and deciduous forests, tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests and swamp forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these orange minivet species consists mainly of insects. Beetles, grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, moths, caterpillars and spiders are their primary food.

These minivet species glean insects in the foliage. They also feed by flycatching. They form small foraging flocks.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these orange minivet species is from June to October in peninsular India. The laying season is from February to May and also during August and September (second brood) in Sri Lanka.

These species are monogamous. They nest high up in top story. The nest is cup-like structure woven with grass, twigs and spiders' webs. The clutch contains two to four spotted pale green eggs. The incubation is mostly done by the female.

Migration and movement patterns

These orange minivet species are non-migratory resident birds. The populations in higher altitudes descent to lower levels in winter.

Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. Within their range they may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Orange minivet - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Pericrocotus flammeus
  • Species author: (Forster, 1781)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Muscicapa flammea J. R. Forster, 1781
  • Family: Campephagidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Orange minivet, Chinese: 赤红山椒鸟, French: Grand Minivet, German: Scharlachmennigvogel, Spanish: Minivet escarlata, Russian: Огненнобрюхий длиннохвостый, Japanese: ヒイロサンショウクイ
  • Other names: Flame Minivet, Scarlet minivet
  • Distribution: India, Sri Lanka
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects, beetles, caterpillars
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the orange minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

In most of its range, this species is reported to be scarce to common. The generation length is not known. Its distribution size is not known.

Habitat alteration and destruction, deforestation and capture of adults and juveniles for pet-trade are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these species.

IUCN and CITES status

The orange minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the minivet species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the orange minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Pericrocotus flammeus
Species:P. flammeus
Binomial name:Pericrocotus flammeus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The Pericrocotus flammeus is closely related to Pericrocotus speciosus.
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1.Image source:,_Ganeshgudi,_28_FEB_2016,_Vimal_Rajyaguru.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Vimal Rajyaguru | License: CC BY-SA 4.0 as on 4/17/18
2.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Hafiz Issadeen | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 4/17/18
3.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Karunakanth | License: CC BY-SA 4.0 as on 4/17/18
4.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: N A Nazeer | License: CC BY-SA 2.5 IN as on 4/17/18
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