Spotted Munias

Spotted Munias (Lonchura punctulata)

The Scaly-breasted Munias (Lonchura punctulata) are also known as Spotted Munias or Nutmeg Mannikins. In captivity, these popular aviary birds are more commonly referred to as “Spice Finches.”

Spotted Munias Perched on the Plants
Spotted Munias Perched on the Plants

Distribution / Range

Catalan: Maniquí puntejat … Chinese: ???, ??? … Czech: Amadina muškátová, panenka muškátová … Danish: Muskatfinke … Dutch: Muskaatvink … Estonian: võrkamadiin … Finnish: Suomumanikki .. French: Capucin damier, Capucin ponctué, Damier commun, Domino ponctué, Muscade … German: Muskatamadine, Muskatbronzemännchen, Muskatfink … Haitian Creole French: Mannken miskad … Indonesian: Bondol dada sisik, Bondol peking … Italian: Domino, Munia pettosquamato … Japanese: Amihara, shimakimpara, shimakinpara … Japanese: ??????, ???????? … Lithuanian: Muskatin? amadina … Mamasa: dena akadi … Malay: Pipit Pinang … Norwegian: Muskatfink, Muskatnonne … Polish: mniszka muszkatowa … Russian: ??????????????? ??????? … Slovak: Amadina muškátová, mníška muškátová … Spanish: Capuchino Nutmeg, Capuchino Punteado, Cigüita Comearroz, Ciguíta Pechijabao, Monjita Acanelada, Pechijabado, Pinzón Acanelado … Swedish: Fjällig munia … Thai: ???????????????
Vietnamese: Di ?á

Distribution / Range

This small finch that can be found in the tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia and the Philippines.

Introduced birds also have established themselves in other parts of the world, for example, parts of Australia, the United States and in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Spotted Munias Image on the Branch
Spotted Munias Image on the Branch

They favor open habitats, including gardens and agricultural fields, where groups of them can often be seen feeding on grass seeds.

Subspecies and Ranges

  • Lonchura punctulata punctulata ( Linnaeus, 1758) -Nominate Race
    • Range: Occurs naturally in northern Pakistan, India (except northeastern parts), Nepal terai and Sri Lanka.
  • Lonchura punctulata subundulata (Godwin-Austen, 1874)
    • Range: Bhutan, Bangladesh, northeastern India (Assam) and western Myanmar
  • Lonchura punctulata yunnanensis (Parkes, 1958)
    • Range: SouthernChina (southeastern Xizang, southern Sichuan, Yunnan) and northern and northeastern Myanmar
  • Lonchura punctulata topela (Swinhoe, 1863)
    • Range: Southern Myanmar, Thailand, southeastern China, Hainan Island, Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam
  • Lonchura punctulata cabanisi (Sharpe, 1890)
    • Range: Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Calauit, Palawan, Panay, Negros, Cebu, Mindanao) and northern Borneo (coastal western Sabah and Brunei)
  • Lonchura punctulata fretensis (Kloss, 1931)
    • Range: Southern Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Sumatra and Nias Island
  • Lonchura punctulata nisoria (Temminck, 1830)
    • Range: Southern Borneo (western and southern Kalimantan), Java, Bali, and western Lesser Sundas (Lombok, Sumbawa)
  • Lonchura punctulata particeps (Riley, 1920)
  • Lonchura punctulata baweana (Hoogerwerf, 1963)
    • Found only on Bawean Islands off northeastern Java in Indonesia
  • Lonchura punctulata sumbae (Mayr, 1944)
    • Range: Sumba, in western Lesser Sundas
  • Lonchura punctulata blasii (Stresemann, 1912)
    • Range: Central and Eastern Lesser Sundas (Flores east to Timor and Tanimbar Islands)
Spotted Munias on Crop
Spotted Munias on Crop


Spice Finches measure about 5 inches (12.5cm) in length (including the tail).

Adult Spice Finches have a nutmeg brown head, back and tail with distinctive scaling on the chest and lower abdomen. The eyes are a dark brown while the beak and legs are a dark grey.

Males and females look alike and the only way to identify their gender is by the male’s courtship song.

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