Family African Barbets (Lybiidae)

Least Concern

Banded Barbet (Lybius undatus)


French: Barbican barré German: Wellenbartvogel Spanish: Barbudo etíope

Pogonias undatus


, 1837,

Simien Province, central Ethiopia


Not particularly closely related to others of genus; may represent connecting link between genera Tricholaema and Lybius. Races rather well marked for a species with a small range; several striking variants also recorded. Proposed races senafensis in NE of range, gardullensis in W & SW, and squamatus in E considered untenable. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. u. thiogaster Neumann, 1903 – far NE Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • L. u. undatus (Rüppell, 1837) – NW to C Ethiopia.
  • L. u. leucogenys (Blundell & Lovat, 1899) – SC to SW Ethiopia.
  • L. u. salvadorii Neumann, 1903 – SE Ethiopia.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17·5 cm; 35·5–42 g. Small barbet with red forehead. Both sexes of nominate race with black head, upper mantle and breast, white line behind eye,... read more


    Only vocalizations reported are “gr-gr-grgrgr-” notes and “tock” or “... read more


    Woodland, bushland, and streamside trees, at 300–3040 m.

    Food and feeding

    Fruits, including figs, and insects, including beetles and cockchafers, have been noted. Flycatches for insects; moves through trees and... read more


    Probably Jan–Jun. Birds encountered in pairs only, likely to be territorial throughout year. Nest a cavity in branch or stub of tree... read more


    Resident and sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very poorly known, and few data on populations; thought to be commoner in S of range. Probably competes with similarly sized L. guifsobalito... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Horne, J.F.M. (2017). Banded Barbet (Lybius undatus). 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 15 December 2017).