The Scaly-breasted Munia is a small perching bird. The Scaly breasted Munia has been introduced in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, where they are already widespread in lowland agricultural areas and are called pechijabao. Flocks of fifteen or more have been observed visiting bird feeders in Orange County, California, USA. It has also been introduced to Australia where it has a common to uncommon distribution along the east coast, from north of Townsville to south of Sydney.
The Scaly-breasted Munia is a small gregarious bird which feeds mainly on seeds. It frequents open woodland and cultivation. The nest is a large domed grass structure in a tree or under the eaves of a house into which 4–10 white eggs are laid. The Scaly-breasted Munia is 11–12cm in length. The adult has a stubby dark bill, brown upperparts and darker brown head. The underparts are white with black scale markings. The sexes are similar, but immature birds have pale brown upperparts, lack the darker head and have uniform buff underparts.