Tag Archives: Hypothymis coelestis ssp. rabori

Hypothymis coelestis ssp. rabori Rand

Negros Celestial Monarch (Hypothymis coelestis ssp. rabori 

The 18 cm large, exceedingly beautiful Celestial Monarch is an endemic species of the Philippine Islands.

The species is curently split into two subspecies: the nominate form, which inhabits the islands of Basilan, Dinagat, Luzon, Mondanao, Samar as well as the Tawi-Tawi Islands, as well as the subspecies discussed here, which is known only from the island of Negros in the Visaya Islands group in the center of the Philippines.

(One specmen was allegedly found on the island of Sibuyan, I personally, however, think that this, for the sake of geographical reasons, is rather unlikely.)  


The Negros Celestial Monarch was slightly larger than the nominate race and differed furthermore from it by its even longer, lighter-colored, glistening sky blue crown- and neck feathers, by the paler, less purplish blue-colored back and by the more extended grey areas on the lower breast, which furthermore appear to bear a somewhat bluish shimmer.

The Negros subspecies was last recorded in 1978 (?) and is considered very likely extinct. The main reason for its disappearance as well as for the progressing decline of the nominate form, is the still ongoing large-scaled destruction of the native forests in the Philippines.


This species is still highly under-researched and some of the island populations may also constitute distinct races.  



[1] A. L. Rand: Species formation in the blue monarch flycatchers genus Hypothymis. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 23: 353–365. 1970  


(female of the nominate race; upper bird)

Depiction from: ‘Arthur Tweeddale: Contributions to the Ornithology of the Philippines. – No. IV. On the Collection made by Mr. A. H. Everett in the Islands of Dinagat, Bazol, Nipah, and Sakuyok. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1878: 106-114’  

(public domain)


edited: 24.10.2016