Like other species of Birds of Paradise, the male looks far more beautiful than the female. Its size, including its very long tail is 99 centimetres long. The plumage colour resembles is a black sickle like bill. Its upperparts are black washed with green, blue and violet. Its under parts are also pale brown tinged with purple. The female lacks ornamental feathers on its neck and breast.
The female lives a very different life from the polygamous male. The females roam mountain forests, sometimes in the company of the Astrapia females. When the breeding season commences, she builds her nest. The male, perched on a tree branch, seduces her with his machine gun like calls and by showing off his remarkable feathers. The encounter is brief. After a series of visits to the male, she returns to her nest to lay one single egg and nestles the young alone.
The bird feeds on insects, tree frogs and fruit.
The species are found in Papua in the highlands between 1,600 and 3,000 meters above sea level.