The African pygmy kingfisher (Ispidina picta) is a small insectivorous kingfisher found in the Afrotropics, mostly in woodland habitats. It is 12 cm (4.7 in) in length. The sexes are alike. It is a very small kingfisher with rufous underparts and a blue back extending down to the tail. The dark blue crown of the adult separates it from the African dwarf kingfisher. The smaller size and violet wash on the ear coverts distinguish it from the similar malachite kingfisher. The natalensis subspecies occurring in the south of the range has paler underparts and a blue spot above the white ear patch. Juveniles have less extensive violet on their ear coverts and a black rather than orange bill. The call is a high-pitched insect-like "tsip-tsip" given in flight.