Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
(aka Nutmeg Mannikin)
Nutmeg Mannikin, Cairns, Queensland, Australia, November 2010 - click for larger image Cairns, Queensland, Australia
November 2010

The Scaly-breasted Munia is distributed from India through south-east Asia to southern China and into the Philippines and Indonesia. It has been introduced into various countries such as Japan, the USA and Australia. They arrived as cage birds in Australia in the 1930s around Brisbane and in the 1940s and 50s around Townsville, Rockhampton and Sydney. They have since spread as escapees along the east coast of Australia and continue to spread.

They feed mainly on seeds and are regarded as an agricultural pest in many areas.

There are about 11 sub-species and the one that was introduced into Australia was L. p. topela.

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