Introduction to the zebrafinch
(Source: International Ornithological Congress C.O.I.)
- Order : Passeriformes
- Family : Estrildity
- Genus : Taeniopygia
- Species : Guttata
- Subspecies : Taeniopygia guttata
Zebrafinch (Taeniopygia guttata), sometimes referred to as Mandarin for short, is the most common and familiar estrildity in central Australia.
2. Subspecies and distribution
There are two distinct subspecies.
Taeniopygia guttata guttata, the Timorese zebrafinch, ranges from Lombok in the Sunda Islands or Nusa Tanggara in Indonesia to Sermata, in addition to coastal areas around mainland Australia.
The other subspecies is Taeniopygia gutatta castonatis. The latter is found over much of mainland Australia and some of these varieties are considered domestic.
The morphological differences between the two subspecies include differences in size.
Taeniopygia guttata guttata is smaller (8 cm) than Taeniopygia guttata castanotis and does not bear the same distinguishing mark on the throat and upper part of the breast.
This bird measures 8 to 10 cm (wild form) or 12 to 14 cm (domestic form) for a mass of about 15g.
This bird can live for 7 to 10 years. It is a robust bird that can withstand temperatures of -15 °C, knowing that it can survive at least + 40 °C.
Zebra finches inhabit Australia's open steppes with scattered bushes and trees, but have adapted to human disturbance, taking advantage of man-made water holes, and spaces opened up by deforestation. They go to cities and show up all over Australia.