White-rumped munia

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The white-rumped munia or white-rumped mannikin (Lonchura striata), sometimes called striated finch in aviculture, is a small passerine bird from the family of waxbill “finches” (Estrildidae). These are close relatives of the true finches (Fringillidae) and true sparrows (Passeridae).

It is native to tropical continental Asia and some adjacent islands, and has been naturalized in some parts of Japan. Its domesticated hybrid descendant, the society finch or Bengalese finch, is found worldwide as a pet and a biological model organism.

The white-rumped munia is approximately 10 to 11 cm in length, with a stubby grey bill and a long black pointed tail. The adults are brown above and on the breast, and lighter below; the rump is white. There is some variation between the subspecies, but the sexes are almost impossible to distinguish in all subspecies; males have a more bulky head and bill.

Subspecies include:

  • Lonchura striata acuticaudanorthwestern white-rumped munia. Northern Indian mainland below c. 1,500 metres ASL, north through the Himalayas foothills of Bhutan and Nepal to theDehradun region of Uttarakhand, India.
Medium brown above, except on the face and remiges, buffy below.
  • Lonchura (striata) domesticasociety finch. Domesticated; naturalized in Japan.
A number of breeds have been developed, ranging from white through yellowish, grey, rufousand brown to almost black, with more or less lighter belly; piebald birds are common, and more fanciful breeds with crests or curled feathers are also available.
  • Lonchura striata semistriata (Hume 1874)Nicobar white-rumped munia. Car Nicobar and Central (Nancowry) group, Nicobar Islands
  • Lonchura striata squamicollisChinese white-rumped munia. Southwestern China and adjacent regions.
  • Lonchura striata striata (Linnaeus, 1766)southwestern white-rumped munia. Southern Indian mainland
Dark chocolate-brown above, white below.

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