Family African Barbets (Lybiidae)

Least Concern

Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus)


French: Barbican à collier German: Halsband-Bartvogel Spanish: Barbudo acollarado

Bucco torquatus

Dumont de Sainte Croix

, 1816,

Brazil; error = Cookhouse, Eastern Cape, South Africa


Closest to L. guifsobalito (with similar size, coloration, displays, sexual duet roles), and the two react strongly to playback of each other’s voice. Related also, less closely, to L. rubrifacies. Race bocagei (in past erroneously listed as race of Stactolaema leucotis) intergrades with congicus and torquatus, and both vivacens and irroratus intergrade with zombae; partly white morphs occur in at least two races (zombae, irroratus), and have been treated as subspecies under names albigularis and nampunju; proposed race lucidiventris (W Zimbabwe) appears inseparable from bocagei. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. t. pumilio Grote, 1927 – E DRCongo, S Uganda, E Rwanda, E, W & S Burundi and W Tanzania S to NE & E Zambia, N & W Malawi and NW Mozambique.
  • L. t. irroratus (Cabanis, 1878) – coastal E Kenya S to CE Tanzania.
  • L. t. zombae (Shelley, 1893) – SE Tanzania to SC Malawi and NE & C Mozambique.
  • L. t. congicus (Reichenow, 1898) – N & NC Angola E to SC DRCongo and NW Zambia.
  • L. t. bocagei (Sousa, 1886) – S Angola and NE Namibia E to SW Zambia, N Botswana and W Zimbabwe.
  • L. t. vivacens Clancey, 1977 – E Zimbabwe and S Malawi to WC & SC Mozambique.
  • L. t. torquatus (Dumont de Sainte Croix, 1816) – SE Botswana E to NE & E South Africa and Swaziland.
  • Descriptive notes

    17·5–19 cm; 35–48 g in N, 45–80 g in S. Common, conspicuous, vocal and social brown, black and yellow barbet. Both sexes of nominate race with red (... read more


    Complex, sexually discrete songs in duet, starting with greeting ceremony involving “tyaw... read more


    Diverse open woodland to pasture habitats, avoiding deserts and forest: includes farmland, gardens... read more

    Food and feeding

    Grapes, guavas, figs, and fruits of Euclea, Hippobromus, Lycium, Rhus, Royena, Scutia... read more


    Aug–Apr in most areas, also Apr–May in Rwanda and E Zaire, also Jul in last; mainly Sept–Dec S of Angola and Zimbabwe; up... read more


    Resident and sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in many parts of range; coastal race irroratus apparently locally fairly common, but habitat diminishing and its population probably... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Horne, J.F.M. (2019). Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus). 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 September 2019).