Family Whydahs and Indigobirds (Viduidae)

Least Concern

Barka Indigobird (Vidua larvaticola)


French: Combassou barka German: Barkawitwe Spanish: Viuda de Barka

Vidua larvaticola


, 1982,

Zaria, Nigeria


Often treated as conspecific with V. wilsoni, V. nigeriae and V. camerunensis. Precise geographical distribution uncertain; populations in Chad and Central African Republic may consist of this species, V. camerunensis or both, and those in Ethiopia, currently treated within present species#R, have in the past been referred to V. camerunensis; further study required. Monotypic.


Guinea-Bissau, NE Ivory Coast and NW Ghana E to Nigeria, C Cameroon, S Chad, N & NW Central African Republic, W & E Sudan, and NW & W Ethiopia (adjacent to Gallabat area of Sudan, L Tana region, Gambela and Gibé#R).

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm; 12–14 g. Male breeding is black with blue to green-blue gloss, concealed white flank spot; tail brown, inner three secondaries and their coverts glossy... read more


Song churring and scratchy, like those of other indigobirds, mixed with imitations of songs and... read more


Overgrown grassy cultivation, riverine thickets, wooded savannas and grassland with scattered... read more

Food and feeding

Small grass seeds, taken from ground. Forages alone, or in small flocks and with estrildid finches.


Limited information. Season Aug–Oct in Nigeria. Territorial, male defends song perch as a mating site and forages in territory;... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Distribution appears to be very localized; species perhaps overlooked. Generally uncommon.

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Barka Indigobird (Vidua larvaticola). 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 May 2019).