Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Black-collared Apalis (Oreolais pulcher)


French: Apalis à col noir German: Schmuckfeinsänger Spanish: Apalis cuellinegro

Apalis pulchra


, 1891,

Mount Elgon, Kenya


Sometimes treated as conspecific with O. ruwenzorii. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. p. pulcher (Sharpe, 1891) – SE Nigeria and SW Cameroon highlands, NE DRCongo, S South Sudan, E Uganda and SW Kenya.
  • O. p. murphyi (Chapin, 1932) – Marungu Mts, in SE DRCongo.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; male 7–12 g, female 6–10 g. A dark grey and white apalis with bold black breastband. Nominate race has dark slate-grey face, crown and upperparts... read more


    Song a series of rather plaintive “dzeew dzeew dzeew dzeew” or shorter, faster “peht-peht-peht”,... read more


    Confined to Afrotropical highlands biome; occurs in understorey and edges of montane forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects and other invertebrates, including small mantids (Mantodea), caterpillars (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and... read more


    Breeds mainly in Dec–Mar dry season, with a few nests recorded May–Jun, in SW Cameroon; in long and short rains, Nov–Apr... read more


    Presumably mostly resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common.

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Black-collared Apalis (Oreolais pulcher). 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 23 August 2019).