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Male Wakatobi flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum kuehni)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Dicaeidae
Genus: Dicaeum
Cuvier, 1816
Type species
Certhia erythronotus[1] = Certhia cruentata
Latham, 1790

see text

Pale-billed flowerpecker Dicaeum erythrorhynchos with a Muntingia calabura berry (Hyderabad, India)
Thick-billed flowerpecker Dicaeum agile on Helicteres isora

Dicaeum is a genus of birds in the flowerpecker family Dicaeidae, a group of passerines tropical southern Asia and Australasia from India east to the Philippines and south to Australia. The genus Dicaeum is closely related to the genus Prionochilus and forms a monophyletic group.[2][3]

Its members are very small, stout, often brightly coloured birds, 10 to 18 cm in length, with short tails, short thick curved bills and tubular tongues. The latter features reflect the importance of nectar in the diet of many species, although berries, spiders and insects are also taken.

2-4 eggs are laid, typically in a purse-like nest suspended from a tree.


The genus Dicaeum was introduced by the French naturalist Georges Cuvier in 1816.[4] The 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.[5] The type species was designated as the scarlet-backed flowerpecker by George Robert Gray in 1840.[6][7]

The genus contains the following 48 species:[8]


  1. ^ "Dicaeidae". The Trust for Avian Systematics. Retrieved 2023-07-16.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Notes on flowerpeckers (Aves, Dicaeidae). 2, The primitive species of the genus Dicaeum. American Museum novitates ; no. 1991". American Museum Novitates (1991). 1960. hdl:2246/3544.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  6. ^ Gray, George Robert (1840). A List of the Genera of Birds : with an Indication of the Typical Species of Each Genus. London: R. and J.E. Taylor. p. 13.
  7. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1986). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 12. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 174.
  8. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (December 2023). "Dippers, leafbirds, flowerpeckers, sunbirds". IOC World Bird List Version 14.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  9. ^ a b "Species Updates – IOC World Bird List". Retrieved 2021-05-27.
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