Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher (Melaenornis chocolatinus)


French: Gobemouche chocolat German: Braundrongoschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas chocolate

Muscicapa chocolatina


, 1840,

Simen, Ethiopia


In the past, sometimes considered conspecific with M. brunneus and M. fischeri, and all three have been placed in a separate genus, Dioptrornis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. c. chocolatinus (Rüppell, 1840) – C Eritrea (Adi Keyih S to Senafe) and N & C Ethiopia.
  • M. c. reichenowi (Neumann, 1902) – W Ethiopia (Wallegha to Gimirra).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm; 20–25 g. Has head (including cheek and ear-coverts), neck side and entire upperparts dark brown, tinged greyish or olivaceous; remiges very dark brown,... read more


    No information; said to be very like voice of M. fischeri.


    Heavy woodland, relatively open forest, forest edge, juniper (Juniperus) woodland and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little information. Food insects. Said to hunt “in typical flycatcher manner” (presumably by sallying) in canopy and from lower... read more


    Breeding suspected in Jan–Feb and Mar–Jun in Ethiopia; gonads enlarged in Jun, Dec and Mar–May. Nest a neat cup of moss... read more


    None recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon in Eritrea, but frequent to common in Ethiopia. This species’ range and numbers must have decreased as a result of habitat destruction... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2019). Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher (Melaenornis chocolatinus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 September 2019).