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Includes Owston's Tit; Iriomote Tit and Chestnut-bellied Tit
It can reach a size between 11-14 centimetres depending on the subspecies. The wing length is 6.0 to 7.8 centimetres. In the nominate race P. v. varia the crown, the bill, the throat, the upper breast and the nape are black. Forehead, face, and cheeks are white. Back, wings, and tail are blueish grey. Mantle, lower breast, belly and undertail coverts are chestnut coloured. From the crown to the nape runs a thin white central line. Other subspecies have a darker hue at the back and at the cheeks, P. v. owstoni has chestnut coloured cheeks and the mantle of P. v. olivacea has an olive tone. The feet are dark bluish-grey. Its call consists of tiny tones which sounds like tzuâ€¦.tzuâ€¦.tzu
This species has been placed in various genera in the family Paridae. Formerly, like most other tits, it was placed in Parus, later in Sittiparus, Cyanistes or Poecile. All three worldlist now place it in the genus Sittiparus
Its habitat consists of open mixed forests, in particular with the Japanese castanopsis species Castanopsis cuspidata, Japanese Larch Larix kaempferi, coniferous forests with Japanese Yew Taxus cuspidata, Sugi Cryptomeria japonica, and pines Pinus as well as bamboo forests at mountain slopes and in river valleys.
The Varied Tit eats a mixed diet consisting of seeds, nuts and insects, namely caterpillars.
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