Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Arabian Babbler (Argya squamiceps)


Taxonomy

French: Cratérope écaillé German: Grauelsterhäherling Spanish: Turdoide árabe
Taxonomy:

Malurus squamiceps

Cretzschmar

, 1827,

Aqaba, Jordan

.

Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. squamiceps (Cretzschmar, 1827) – extreme NE Egypt (Sinai), S Israel, and SW Jordan S to C Saudi Arabia.
  • A. s. yemensis Neumann, 1904 – SW Saudi Arabia and W Yemen.
  • A. s. muscatensis (Meyer de Schauensee & Ripley, 1953) – E United Arab Emirates and N Oman.
  • Also (race unknown) E Yemen to S Oman.

    Descriptive notes

    26–29 cm. Fairly large, long-tailed, drab grey-brown Turdoides babbler with dark streaks and pale scaling on crown, back and neck side. Nominate race has crown... read more

    Voice

    Song of male, heard just before and after copulation, a high quiet warble; subsong variation given... read more

    Habitat

    Small trees, thickets and bushy areas, including saltbush, acacia stands, date-palm groves and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists of invertebrates, including crickets (Orthoptera), termites (Isoptera), ant-lion larvae (Myrmeleonidae), caterpillars, moths... read more

    Breeding

    Feb–Jul in Israel, May in United Arab Emirates and Mar–Apr in Oman; up to four broods may be produced by one female per season... read more

    Movements

    Resident. In Israel, individuals may move only a few kilometres from their parental territories. In... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Local breeder in E Sinai, in Egypt. In Israel, locally fairly common from Dead Sea S into Negev Desert, numbers having expanded since 1950s in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2017). Arabian Babbler (Argya squamiceps). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/59551 on 20 November 2017).