Epimachus (Greek, equipped to fight; i.e. allusion to sword-like bill); fastuosus (Latin, proud, haughty).
Sexually dimorphic. Adult male, 110 cm including central tail feathers; female, 55 cm. Male with head black with greenish blue and purple sheens, upperparts velvet black with purple iridescence with large central back feathers iridescent metallic blue-green, underparts blackish on breast, becoming more brownish towards tail, elongated pectoral and flank plumes black with broad iridescent tips and central tail feathers metallic blue-purple. Female lacks iridescence, upperparts shades of brown, underparts buff with dark brown barring.
Fruits and animals, including insects and vertebrates.
Lower elevation of mid montane forest, occasionally forest edges; 1280-2550 m, mainly 1800-2150m.
Polygynous. Solitary promiscuous males recorded singing and displaying from traditional perches during September, October and February-April. Males assume static posture then flex legs while swaying with pectoral, flank and tail plumes erect.
Breeding has been recorded at least November-February. Females build and attend to the nest alone. Eggs, incubation, nestling and development information unknown. Known to hybridise with Arfak Astrapia, Long-tailed Paradigalla and Superb Bird of Paradise.
Status and conservation
Vulnerable; low density and apparently declining owing to exploitation.
New Guinea: mountains of west and centre, including Bird’s Head and Wandammen Peninsulas, central cordillera from Weyland Mountains east to Kratke Range, Mount Bosavi, Bewani and Torricelli Ranges of north coast.