Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Bar-breasted Firefinch (Lagonosticta rufopicta)


French: Amarante pointé German: Pünktchenamarant Spanish: Amaranta barrada

Estrilda rufopicta


, 1843,

Cape Coast Castle, Ghana


In the past was sometimes considered conspecific with L. nitidula. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. r. rufopicta (Fraser, 1843) – Senegal, Gambia, SW Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sierra Leone E to Nigeria, Cameroon, S Chad and Central African Republic.
  • L. r. lateritia Heuglin, 1864 – South Sudan, NE DRCongo, W Ethiopia, Uganda and SW Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm; 8·2-11·2 g (nominate). Nominate race has crown to back and upperwing-coverts rather dark, dull earth-brown, rump and uppertail-coverts red, tail black with... read more


    Contact call 1–2 short rising and falling notes, "kewp" or "kewp-kewp"; alarm call a sharp... read more


    Grassland and acacia (Acacia) savanna, wet marshes, often near villages and along dirt... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small grass seeds (diameter 1–2 mm). Feeds on ground. Forages in pairs and in small groups; often associates with other estrildids.


    Season in second half of rains and into early dry season: May–Sept in S Ghana, Jul–Nov in Nigeria and May in Uganda. Courting... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to locally common.

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Bar-breasted Firefinch (Lagonosticta rufopicta). 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 19 February 2020).