Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Nectariniidae
Genus: Nectarinia
Illiger, 1811

8 to over 60, see text


See text

Nectarinia is a genus of bird in the sunbird family, Nectariniidae. What species belong to it has been highly contentious for many decades. Towards the late 20th century, the dominant trend was to use it to group all "typical" sunbirds. More recently it has been split up into many genera, but this move has not yet found widespread application. For one thing, most field guides and similar works either directly or indirectly refer to the old taxonomy. Moreover, though by and large the splitup seems well justified, not all of the new and re-validated genera may be valid.


Nectarinia sensu stricto

contains only the following species:

Also sometimes included here is the Orange-breasted Sunbird (Anthobaphes violacea).

Sometimes placed in Anthreptes

Sometimes placed in Leptocoma

(which in turn is sometimes merged into Nectarinia):

"Nectarinia aspasia", the Black Sunbird, is now known as Leptocoma sericea.

Split off as Anabathmis

Split off as Chalcomitra

Split off as Cinnyris

Split off as Cyanomitra

Split off as Dreptes

  • Sao Tome Sunbird, Nectarinia thomensis