- Art Gallery -

Lanioturdus torquatus

Lanioturdus torquatus, adult male and female

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Corvida
Superfamilia: Corvoidea
Familia: Malaconotidae
Genus: Lanioturdus
Species: Lanioturdus torquatus
Subspecies: L. t. mesicus - L. t. torquatus


Lanioturdus torquatus Waterhouse, 1838

Vernacular names


An expedition...into the interior of Africa, through the... countries of the Great Namaquas, Boschmans, and Hill Damaras 2 App. p.264

The White-tailed Shrike (Lanioturdus torquatus) is a small passerine bird from the family Platysteiridae. It is also commonly known as a Chatshrike. It occurs only in western Angola and Namibia in thorn scrub. It forages from ground level, where it hops about in large bounds and upright posture, to 25m above ground, scanning for insects. The very short tail, with a small black mark at the tip of the central two feathers, is always carried down, never sticking up. Its range of calls includes loud ringing territorial whistles.

This curious bird, which some consider to have close affinities with the batises and others the bushshrikes, was discovered in 1837 by James Edward Alexander in the Naukluft Mountains of Namibia. Waterhouse subsequently described it in 1838, the name Lanioturdus ('shrike-thrush') reflecting the uncertainty of its classification, and torquatus denoting 'collared'. The sexes have a similar appearance.

It is a common, endemic, breeding resident in the region, small seasonal migrations taking place. Its favoured habitat is scrub-savanna, thornbush and mopane-veld. It is found singly or in pairs during the breeding season, and in small groups at other times. It is a clumsy flier with shallow and rapid wingbeats like other batises.

Nests are usually located in thorny acacias and are constructed by both sexes. Nests are deep, neat well-moulded cups incorporating spider-web and placed about 3 metres above ground. The usual clutch is 2-3 eggs pale-green to white with sparse reddish-brown spots. Only the female incubates the eggs.

* Shrikes of Southern Africa - Tony Harris & Graeme Arnott (Struik Winchester 1988) ISBN 0 947430 08 3

Biology Encyclopedia

Birds, Fine Art Prints

BirdsĀ Images

Source: Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License