Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

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Scaly-breasted Munia
Lonchura punctulata
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
Name Scaly-breasted Munia
Name Lat. Lonchura punctulata
Family Estrildid Finches
Family lat. Estrildidae
Order Perching Birds
Order lat. Passeriformes
Origin Southeast Asia
Climate Tropical
Diet Estrilded Finch seed, sprouts, veggies
Keeping Pair, group
Care Level Easy
Reproduction Finch nest
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection EC Annex D
Metric Units
Size 11 cm
Temperature Room temperature
Housing 80 x 40 x 40 cm
US Units
Size 4.3"
Temperature Room temperature
Housing 30" x 15" x 15"

Distribution and habitat

The range of the Muskatamadine extends from India and Sri Lanka through southern China to the Philippines and Indonesia, where they live in open grasslands and, as crop followers, often near rice fields and gardens.

Cage size

The minimum cage size is 80 x 40 x 40 cm (L x W x H) for a pair. The cage size must not be undercut even in case of justified single keeping. For another 2-3 birds, species compatibility provided, the floor space must be increased by 25%. The cage must be placed in a bright, draught-free and quiet place at a height of at least 80 cm (except aviaries), have a rectangular base and be opaque on three sides, aviaries on one side. Keeping in an aviary is preferable.


The floor must be covered with sand, wood granulate, bark mulch or similar material and must be cleaned regularly. At least 3 perches made of wood or branches of varying thickness and height must be installed in such a way that they can only be reached by flying and that the longest possible flight distance is created. They need a bathing opportunity as well as biotope-like hiding, sleeping and nesting possibilities. It is recommended to provide them with grasses and bushes. The room temperature should not fall below 15 °C.


The species-specific feed offer consists of mixed seeds, available in specialized trade as "Exotenfutter" in premium quality, supplemented with foxtail millet, tangle grass seeds, in addition green panicle millet, chickweed, germinated seeds (millet, wheat) as well as cucumber slices and, especially for rearing young, egg feed mixed with germ feed as well as small quantities of insects and insect larvae (small, skinned, cut-up mealybug larvae, ant pupae, pinkies). Charcoal, vitamine lime and shell grit are needed as digestive aids. Drinking water must always be available in birdbaths or stable, open containers and, like food, must be offered fresh daily in clean containers.

A regular and varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The sexes can hardly be distinguished externally. Males are distinguished by different song.

They like to breed in biotope-like facilities such as basket nests (bionesters) and semi-open nest boxes of medium size, free in the branches (e.g. broom, bamboo, reeds). Suitable nesting material is sisal, coconut fibers, long grasses, as well as moss and soft grass for padding. The clutch consists of 4-5 eggs, the incubation period is about 14 days. The breeding season is, biologically speaking, all year round. When breeding, the room temperature should be at least 18 ° C.

Species protection

Species protection: EU Appendix D, monitoring of trade relevance (monitoring). Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.


They may only be kept in pairs or in a group or flock. A socialization with other finches is well possible

They must not be kept in a round cage. For flock keeping an aviary is required. For outdoor aviary keeping, they also need a heated shelter of at least 1 m² floor space and 1.70 m height, which can be visited by the birds at any time. The temperature in the shelter must not fall below 15 °C and the furnishings must correspond to those of cage keeping.

Sufficient daylight or flicker-free artificial light (stroboscopic effect) corresponding to daylight must be provided in rooms, including the shelters. The lighting duration should be 8-14 hours per day and the natural day-night rhythm must be observed. Adequate indoor climate should be provided. The health condition of the birds should be checked daily

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Othmar Sieberer; Image: petdata

Source: BMELV (1995): Tierschutzgutachten - Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Kleinvögeln; BIELFELD (1996): Das Prachtfinken-Buch, Verlag Eugen Ulmer; GRUMMT & STREHLOW (2009): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Vögel, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF