Family Scimitar-babblers and allies (Timaliidae)

Least Concern

Bar-winged Wren-babbler (Spelaeornis troglodytoides)


French: Timalie troglodyte German: Binden-Zaunkönigtimalie Spanish: Ratina alibarrada

Pnoepyga troglodytoides

J. P. Verreaux

, 1871,

#R, “les montagnes du Thibet chinois“= Muping [Paohing], south-east Xizang, China


Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. t. sherriffi Kinnear, 1934 – W Bhutan E to W Arunachal Pradesh, in NE India.
  • S. t. indiraji Ripley et al., 1991 – SE Arunachal Pradesh (Namdapha National Park), in NE India.
  • S. t. souliei Oustalet, 1898 – NC Arunachal Pradesh (NE India) E to N Myanmar and S China (NW Yunnan W of R Salween).
  • S. t. rocki Riley, 1929 – NW Yunnan (E of R Salween).
  • S. t. halsueti (David, 1875) – C China (S Gansu, S Shaanxi, N & NE Sichuan).
  • S. t. nanchuanensis Li Guiyuan et al., 1992 – SC China (C Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan).
  • S. t. troglodytoides (J. P. Verreaux, 1871) – S China (SW & WC Sichuan S to extreme NE Yunnan and N Guizhou).
  • Recently found (race unknown) in N Vietnam (Mt Fan Si Pan in W Tonkin)#R.

    Descriptive notes

    10 cm. Long-tailed, rufous-brown wren-babbler with white-spotted blackish head, white breast, barred wings and tail. Male nominate race has crown and nape blackish, tinged... read more


    Song a repeated husky rapid rolling warble of 5–8 notes, “chi’whi-whi’whi-whi’whi-whi’whi” or... read more


    Dense undergrowth and bamboo thickets in moist cool temperate forest, including deciduous,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera). Sometimes in small groups up to six individuals, even in late Apr (breeding period). More arboreal... read more


    Season Mar–Jun. No other information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally rare over most of range. Uncommon in Bhutan, where known mainly from forest between Sengor and Namling (Mongar district), with occurrence... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Robson, C. & de Juana, E. (2020). Bar-winged Wren-babbler (Spelaeornis troglodytoides). 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 22 February 2020).