Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Assam Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron chrysopterum)


French: Garrulaxe d’Assam German: Assamhäherling Spanish: Charlatán de Assam

Ianthocincla chrysoptera


, 1835,

Khasi Hills, Assam, India


Until recently, this species and T. melanostigma, T. peninsulae and sometimes T. ngoclinhense were regarded as conspecific with T. erythrocephalum; those splits were made with prototype version of Tobias criteria, and are re-scored here. Differs from T. melanostigma in characters given under that species, and from T. erythrocephalum by its maroon-rufous vs black chin and throat (3); unmarked vs boldly patterned ear-coverts (2); smokier-olive flanks (1); slightly lower-pitched voice (1)#R. After split, race woodi was initially retained in T. erythrocephalum, before race ailaoshanense was described; birds ­recorded in NE Myanmar might belong in T. melanostigma but provisionally included here with race woodi; further research required. Five subspecies currently recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. c. chrysopterum (Gould, 1835) – Meghalaya, in NE India.
  • T. c. godwini Harington, 1914 – S Assam (N Cachar), Nagaland and N Manipur, in NE India.
  • T. c. erythrolaemum A. O. Hume, 1881 – SE Manipur and Mizoram (India) and W & SW Myanmar.
  • T. c. woodi E. C. S. Baker, 1914 – NE Myanmar and S China (NW & W Yunnan).
  • T. c. ailaoshanense (Yang Lan, 2002) – Ailao Shan region of C Yunnan, in S China.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–25 cm; 74–92 g. Nominate race has forecrown blackish-maroon, shading to chestnut on mid-crown to nape, mantle and back dull ochrous-brown with maroon wedge-... read more


    Songs variable, and generally lower-pitched and mellower than those of T. erythrocephalum... read more


    Understorey (sometimes thick) and bamboo in broadleaf evergreen, pine and mixed forests, stunted... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information on diet; presumably invertebrates and some vegetable matter. Typically encountered while foraging singly, in pairs or in... read more


    Apr–Jul. Nest described as a large, deep cup, made of moss, grass stems and twigs, lined with fine twigs and roots, placed 1·2... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not assessed. Common in India. Common in Myanmar, and abundant in Natmautaung National Park.

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Assam Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron chrysopterum). 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 18 February 2020).