Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Benguela Long-billed Lark (Certhilauda benguelensis)

Following the taxonomy applied to HBW Alive, derived from the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, this taxon is now lumped within Karoo Long-billed Lark (Certhilauda subcoronata).


French: Alouette de Benguela German: Benguela-Langschnabellerche Spanish: Alondra de Benguela

Alaemon benguelensis


, 1904,

Benguela, Angola


All members of genus with exception of C. chuana formerly treated as a single species, but recent research indicates that they are genetically, morphologically and vocally distinct. Present species very similar in morphology and vocalizations to N population of C. subcoronata, but genetically highly distinct; treated as a separate species, pending further study. Position of taxon damarensis somewhat unclear; possibly belongs with present species, but analysis of plumage and morphology suggests better placed with C. subcoronata; limited genetic sampling in Namibia of damarensis and race kaokoensis of present species resulted in uncertainty regarding the taxonomic boundary between them. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution

Descriptive notes

18–20 cm (male on average 12–14% larger in body measurements, 28% longer in bill); 35–53 g. Medium-sized lark with rather pale and only moderately streaked... read more


Male song a slightly quavering, descending whistle, “peeooo”, like that of congeners... read more


Arid stony hill slopes and adjacent plains in the fore-Namib; often favours areas with slightly... read more

Food and feeding

Very little known. Diet includes beetles (Coleoptera) and other insects, and also seeds.


Few records, all of nests found in late May: built in shallow cup on ground, usually at base of a rock, grass tuft or small bush; contained... read more


Apparently resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common in suitable habitat. One of the most common terrestrial bird species on arid coastal plain of SW Angola. Significant populations are... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2018). Benguela Long-billed Lark (Certhilauda benguelensis). 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 November 2018).