Astrapia rothschildi Click to enlarge image
Huon Astrapia, male and female Image: James King, artist WT Cooper
© William T Cooper

Fast Facts

Common name

Huon Astrapia

Scientific name

Astrapia rothschildi


Astrapia (Greek, flashing or lightning); rothschildi (named for ornithologist Lord LW Rothschild); common name refers to distribution of this species.


Sexually dimorphic. Adult males average 69 cm in length, while the female grows to 47 cm. Adult males have black head, iridescent green-blue nape, black upper breast bordered by an iridescent coppery orange gorget and lower breast of oily dark green. Females almost entirely sooty black with slight dull blue iridescent sheen to head.


Fruits and small animals.


Mid montane, upper montane and subalpine forests; 1460-3010m.


Unknown whether males display in solitude or in leks. Displays only observed in first week of February. During display male perches erect and fans tail repeatedly then drops below branch, hanging upside down in horizontal position; between displays hops back between perches.


Breeding season undefined. Egg laying occurs during at least October and November; females build and attend to nests alone. Incubation, nestling period and developmental care unknown. No known hybridisation.

Status and conservation

No apparent known threat; distribution and habits little known.


Papua New Guinea: Huon Peninsula: Finisterre, Saruwaged, Rawlinson and Cromwell Mountains.