Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Arrow-marked Babbler (Turdoides jardineii)


French: Cratérope fléché German: Weißstrichel-Schwatzhäherling Spanish: Turdoide de Jardine

Crateropus Jardineii

A. Smith

, 1836,

banks of rivers beyond Kurrichane, north-western Transvaal, South Africa


Sometimes treated as conspecific with T. leucocephala and T. plebejus. Race tanganjicae distinctive with its black head, but merges clinally with other races#R. Race convergens sometimes subsumed within nominate. Proposed race kikuyuensis (SW Kenya and adjacent N Tanzania) merged with emini, and natalensis (S Mozambique S to Lesotho) included in nominate. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. j. hyposticta (Cabanis & Reichenow, 1877) – S Gabon, S Congo, SW DRCongo and NW Angola.
  • T. j. emini (Neumann, 1904) – WC & S Uganda and SW Kenya S to E DRCongo and NW & N Tanzania.
  • T. j. tanganjicae (Reichenow, 1886) – SE DRCongo and NC & NE Zambia.
  • T. j. kirkii (Sharpe, 1876) – SE Kenya, C, E & SE Tanzania, NE (E part) Zambia, Malawi and N & C Mozambique.
  • T. j. tamalakanei Meyer de Schauensee, 1932 – WC & S Angola E to extreme SW Zambia, NE Namibia and N Botswana.
  • T. j. convergens Clancey, 1958 – N & E Botswana, Zimbabwe (except far N), C Mozambique and coastal NE South Africa.
  • T. j. jardineii (A. Smith, 1836) – SE Botswana E to S Mozambique, S to N & NE South Africa, Swaziland and NE Lesotho.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–25 cm; 56–85 g. Medium-sized Turdoides babbler, dull brownish-grey above, paler below, with distinctive pointed white tips of throat and breast... read more


    Chorus song a harsh nasal chatter, “ra-ra-ra-ra-ra” or “scurr-urr-urr-urr-urr-urr-urr”, usually... read more


    Dense thickets in higher-rainfall bush and tree savanna, open woodland underbrush, dry riverine... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly invertebrates up to 35 mm long, including termites (Isoptera), ants (Formicidae), bush-crickets and grasshoppers (Orthoptera), moths... read more


    Mar, May and Aug–Oct in Uganda; mainly Sept–May in Tanzania and Zambia, Sept–Jun (mainly Oct) in Malawi and Sept–... read more


    Resident; some local displacements. In Uganda, recorded only Jun–Aug in W Nile region;... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common over much of range, and adaptable to habitats partly influenced by man. Often common in Uganda, where present in Bwindi-Impenetrable... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Arrow-marked Babbler (Turdoides jardineii). 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 24 February 2020).