Lioparus chrysotis

Geographic Range

Golden-breasted fulvettas (Alcippe chrysotis) are native to the Oriental and southeastern Palearctic regions. They occur in montane areas, including Nepal, Bhutan, northeastern India, southwestern and central China, and small northern areas of Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. They occupy these areas year round. (Collar and Robson, 2020)


Golden-breasted fulvettas live in the undergrowth of thick bamboo and temperate forests in montane regions, ranging from 1,100 to 3,050 m above sea level. They are most commonly found near the ground in shrublands and forests. (BirdLife International, 2022; Collar and Robson, 2020)

  • Range elevation
    1,100 to 3,050 m
    to ft

Physical Description

Golden-breasted fulvettas are small birds, reaching up to 12 cm in length. They have distinctive yellow breasts, with black or grey heads and backs. Their wings and tails have streaks of yellow or orange amidst the black or grey coloration. There are few noticeable differences between males and females based on their feather colors, except that females tend to have slightly paler yellow coloration on their breasts. (Collar and Robson, 2020)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes alike
  • Range mass
    5 to 10 g
    0.18 to 0.35 oz
  • Range length
    10 to 11.5 cm
    3.94 to 4.53 in


There is limited information regarding the mating systems of golden-breasted fulvettas. More research is needed to understand how golden-breasted fulvettas find, attract, and defend mates.

Golden-breasted fulvettas mate from May to June in India, May to October in Bhutan, and April to June in Myanmar and China. They make deep, cup-shaped nests 40 to 100 cm off of the ground. Males and females both contribute to building nests for their offspring, a process that takes about 9 to 12 days. Once nests are built, females lay a clutch of 3 to 5 eggs. Golden-breasted fulvetta eggs are pink or white, with small brown speckles. Parents incubate their eggs for 10 to 11 days. After eggs hatch, chicks stay in the nest for another 11 days on average. (Collar and Robson, 2020; Vattakaven, et al., 2018)

  • Range number of offspring
    3 to 5
  • Range gestation period
    10 to 11 days

Golden-breasted fulvettas are rarely observed in the wild, and thus there is limited information on the amount of parental investment they provide. However, both males and females participate in nest construction for their young, which takes 9 to 12 days. Also, both parents incubate eggs for 10 to 11 days and care for hatchlings another 11 days on average, after which their offspring leave the nest. It is unclear whether males or females provide further care after their offspring are fledged. (Collar and Robson, 2020)

  • Parental Investment
  • altricial
  • male parental care
  • female parental care
  • pre-fertilization
    • provisioning
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
      • male
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • male
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female


There is limited information regarding lifespans of golden-breasted fulvettas in the wild or in captivity. However, the average generation length of golden-breasted fulvettas is 3.8 years, meaning they produce their first clutch of eggs after about 3.8 years. (BirdLife International, 2022)


Golden-breasted fulvettas forage for food in groups as small as 2 to 3 individuals and as large as 30 to 50 individuals. They are capable of flight, but they stay in one general area throughout their lifespan and do not migrate. (Collar and Robson, 2020)

Home Range

There is limited information regarding home range sizes for golden-breasted fulvettas. It is also unclear whether they defend specific territories.

Communication and Perception

Golden-breasted fulvettas communicate with each other primarily through vocalizations. They make fast, high-pitched calls consisting of 5 notes, with the pattern "si-si-si-si-suu". The pitch of their calls sometimes descends toward the end of each call. They likely use their calls to communicate the presence of predators, the location of conspecifics, and as part of mating rituals. However, further research is needed to determine the specific uses of their calls.

In addition to auditory cues, golden-breasted fulvettas also use visual, tactile, and olfactory cues to sense their environment. (Collar and Robson, 2020)

Food Habits

Golden-breasted fulvettas primarily eat insects, seeds, and small berries. Their small beaks allow for them to eat small seeds and certain insects. Golden-breasted fulvettas are not observed frequently in the wild, and thus the exact species of insects and plants that they eat are poorly studied. (Collar and Robson, 2020; Vattakaven, et al., 2018)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • Plant Foods
  • seeds, grains, and nuts
  • fruit


Although, golden-breasted fulvettas have not been directly observed avoiding predation, many birds use flight as a way to evade predators. Some birds also rely on their wing coloration to camouflage themselves with their environment. There is limited information regarding specific predators that eat golden-breasted fulvettas. (van den Hout, et al., 2009)

Ecosystem Roles

Golden-breasted fulvettas eat a variety of insects, berries, and seeds. Consequently, they likely play a role in dispersing seeds of native plants and controlling local insect populations. (Collar and Robson, 2020)

  • Ecosystem Impact
  • disperses seeds

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Golden-breasted fulvettas have no known significant positive impacts on humans.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Golden-breasted fulvettas have no known significant negative impacts on humans.

Conservation Status

Golden-breasted fulvetta populations are decreasing primarily due to habitat destruction. Despite this, they are categorized as least concern on the IUCN Red List, and have no special status in the CITES appendices or any United States conservation lists, since their distribution does not include North America. (BirdLife International, 2017)

Other Comments

Golden-breasted fulvettas (Lioparus chrysotis) were previously considered a part of the genus Alcippe in the family Alcippeidae. However, they currently are the only species in the genus Lioparus within the family Paradoxornithidae. ("Aclippe", 2022)


Tate Severson (author), Colorado State University.



living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.

World Map


uses sound to communicate


young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.


an animal that mainly eats meat

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


an animal that mainly eats seeds


An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.


An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.

male parental care

parental care is carried out by males


This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

World Map

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season


remains in the same area


that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).


the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.


"Aclippe", 2022. "Alcippe (Translingual)" (On-line). Accessed April 09, 2022 at

BirdLife International, 2022. "Golden-breasted Fulvetta Lioparus chrysotis" (On-line). Accessed February 20, 2022 at

BirdLife International, 2017. Lioparus chrysotis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017, e.T22716585A111107383: 1-10. Accessed February 20, 2022 at 1.RLTS.T22716585A111107383.en.

Chang, H., Z. Wang, H. Liu. 2018. Four new feather mite species of the genus Anhemialges Gaud, 1958 (Astigmata: Analgidae) from China.. Zootaxa, 4531(2): 251-265. Accessed February 20, 2022 at

Cibois, A. 2001. Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeny of Babblers (Timaliidae). The Auk, Volume 120: 35-54. Accessed February 20, 2022 at

Collar, N., C. Robson. 2020. "Golden-breasted Fulvetta (Lioparus chrysotis)" (On-line). Accessed February 13, 2022 at

Feijen, C., H. Feijen. 2008. A Review of the Breeding Birds of Bhutan.. FORKTAIIL, 24: 1-24. Accessed February 20, 2022 at

Menzies, R., J. Borah, U. Srinivasan, F. Ishtiaq. 2021. The effect of habitat quality on the blood parasite assemblage in understorey avian insectivores in the Eastern Himalaya, India. Ibis (London, England), 163(3): 962-976. Accessed February 20, 2022 at

Srinivasan, U., J. Hines, S. Quader. 2015. Demographic superiority with increased logging in tropical understorey insectivorous birds. The Journal of applied ecology, 52(5): 1374-1380. Accessed February 20, 2022 at

Vattakaven, T., R. George, D. Balasubramanian, M. Réjou-Méchain, G. Muthusankar, B. Ramesh, R. Prabhakar. 2018. "Lioparus chrysotis" (On-line). Accessed March 19, 2022 at

Xia, J., F. Wu, W. Hu, J. Fang, X. Yang. 2015. The coexistence of seven sympatric fulvettas in Ailao Mountains,Ejia Town,Yunnan Province.. Dōngwùxué yánjiū, 36(1): 18-28. Accessed February 20, 2022 at

van den Hout, P., K. Mathot, L. Maas, T. Piersma. 2009. Predator escape tactics in birds: linking ecology and aerodynamics. Behavioral Ecology, Volume 21: 16-25. Accessed April 09, 2022 at