French: Apalis à tête noire German: Schwarzkopf-Feinsänger Spanish: Apalis cabecinegro
G. A. Fischer and Reichenow, 1884,
Pangani, north-east Tanzania.
Nine subspecies recognized.
Subspecies and Distribution
A. m. nigrodorsalis
Granvik, 1923 – C Kenyan highlands.
A. m. melanocephala
(G. A. Fischer & Reichenow, 1884) – S Somalia, coastal Kenya and NE Tanzania (including E Usambara Mts).
A. m. moschi
van Someren, 1931 – SE Kenya (Taita Hills) and Tanzanian highlands (S to Udzungwa Mts).
A. m. muhuluensis
C. H. B. Grant & Mackworth-Praed, 1947 – SE Tanzania.
A. m. tenebricosa
Vincent, 1933 – N Mozambique (Njesi Plateau, Mt Namuli and Mt Chiperone).
A. m. adjacens
Clancey, 1969 – E Malawi highlands (except Mulanje and Thyolo).
A. m. fuliginosa
Vincent, 1933 – Mt Mulanje and Mt Thyolo, in SE Malawi.
A. m. lightoni
Roberts, 1938 – C Mozambique and adjacent E Zimbabwe.
A. m. addenda
Clancey, 1968 – S Mozambique (S of R Save, including Bazaruto I).
12–14 cm; 8–10 g. A forest apalis, dark above and pale below, with long and graduated tail. Male nominate race has blackish head, upperparts and upperwing, washed... read more
Male song (coastal populations) a series of simple “sweep” or “wheet wee wee wee…” calls, or (... read more
Wide range of forest habitats, including lowland and montane forest, riverine forest, coastal scrub... read more
Food and feeding
Eats insects, including grasshopper nymphs (Orthoptera), caterpillars (Lepidoptera) and small flies (Diptera); occasionally seeds. Occurs... read more
Breeds Apr–Jul in E Africa, Oct–Nov in Malawi and Zimbabwe. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial (probably throughout... read more
Presumably mostly resident; some evidence of movement to lower elevations on Mt Mulanje (S Malawi)... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened. Locally common. Densities of up to 1 pair/ha in S Malawi and 0·9 birds/ha (0·3 pairs/ha) in Tanzania (Udzungwa). Tolerates some habitat disturbance;... read more
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