- Malurus melanocephalus
10–12·5 cm (4-5 in). One of the smallest fairy-wrens.
The male is black with a bright red back and dusky primaries
The female is a very plain light brown, with a brown bill.
Australia. The scarlet-backed form can be found in the eastern coastal areas from the middle of Queensland south to central New South Wales. The crimson-backed form are from northern Western Australia through the coastal areas of the Northern Territory to North Queensland.
There are 2 subspecies:
- M. m. cruentatus: Crimson-backed
- North Australia (northern Western Australia to Cape York Peninsula)
- M. m. melanocephalus: Scarlet-backed
Tropical and sub-tropical woodlands, near water.
Their diet consists mostly of insects, particularly ants, beetles, cockroaches, caterpillars and grasshoppers.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Rowley, I. and E. Russell (2020). Red-backed Fairywren (Malurus melanocephalus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.rebfai1.01
- The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Red-backed Fairywren. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 24 September 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Red-backed_Fairywren