Cyanolanius madagascarinus

Cyanolanius madagascarinus (Linnaeus, 1766)

Common Names

Blue Vanga (English), Artamie azurée (French)

Languages: English



This small Vanga is distinctive by its bright blue upperparts and white underparts.


This species is endemic to Madagascar and some Comoro Islands. It inhabits woodland habitats.



IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)



Comoro races bensoni and comorensis possibly represent a separate species, differing from nominate race madagascarinus in plumage and voice (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).


Adults have bright blue upperparts (incl. head), white underparts (incl. throat) and brilliant pale blue bill. Female is somewhat duller than male (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).

Juveniles have grey-blue upperparts (incl. head) and black bill.


Length: 16-19 cm (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009)

Ecology and Distribution


Madagascar and Comoro Islands. Three subspecies are currently recognized (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009):

bensoni Louette & Herremans, 1982 - Grand Comoro

comorensis (Shelley, 1894) - Mohéli

madagascarinus (Linnaeus, 1766) - Madagascar

More information about the distribution of the several subspecies is available at


Nominate race on Madagascar inhabits deciduous dry forest in W and evergreen humid forest in E; Comoro races are found in all types of woodland (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).

Movements and dispersal

Probably mainly sedentary (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).

Population Biology

The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common (Morris and Hawkins 1998 in BirdLife International 2011). Only the bensoni race on Grand Comoro is extremely rare, believed possibly extinct by some authors (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).

Trophic Strategy

It feeds on insects and occasionally berries. It often feeds while hanging from its feet, upside-down, in leaf clusters near ends of thin branches (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).


BirdLife_International (2011).  IUCN Red List for birds.
Louette, M., Meirte D., Louage A., & Reygel A. (2010).  Type specimens of birds in the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren. Zoological Documentation Online Series (R. Mus. Centr. Afr.). 332.
Yamagishi, S., & Nakamura M. (2009).  Family Vangidae (Vangas). (del HoyoJ., ElliottA., ChristieD., Ed.).Handbook of the Birds of the World. 14, 142-170. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.