Malurus lamberti Vigors and Horsefield, 1827, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Five subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Variegated wren; French: Mйrion de Lambert; German: Weissbauch-Staffelschwanz; Spanish: Ratona Australiana Variada.
5.5 in (14 cm); female 0.21–0.35 oz (5.9–10 g), male 0.21–0.41 oz (6.0–11.5 g). Breeding male with black throat and breast, russet back, and turquoise mantle, cap, and cheeks; whitetipped blue tail. Nonbreeding males, females, and immatures with blue heads and backs, white below.
Widely distributed across Australia. M. l. assimilis found throughout Australia except for southwest, southeast, and far north; M. l. rogersi in Kimberley Division, M. l. dulcis in Arnhem Land, M. l. lamberti in coastal southern Queensland and New South Wales, and M. l. bernieri is restricted to islands off Shark Bay in Western Australia.
A broad spectrum of habitats: in shrubby vegetation from coastal thickets through arid and semi-arid acacia woodlands and scrub; also, rocky escarpments and mallee.
A weak flier that forages from ground to canopy by hopping. Group territorial defense throughout the year. Voice a fast, metallic trill.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Forages by gleaning on low shrubbery. Takes a broad spectrum of invertebrates including flies, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and spiders. May forage in canopy or on open ground.
Monogamous cooperative breeder, but probably promiscuous. Clutch is three or four red/brown-spotted, white eggs. Female incubates for 14–16 days; fledging in 10–12 days.
Widespread and not threatened, although adversely affected by clearing of habitat for agriculture, and by overgrazing.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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