Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Least Concern

Brown Illadopsis (Illadopsis fulvescens)


French: Akalat brun German: Braunbauch-Laubdrossling Spanish: Tordina parda
Other common names: Brown Thrush-babbler

Turdirostris fulvescens


, 1859,

Cama River, Gabon


Has been placed in genera Trichastoma and Malacocincla. Races iboensis and moloneyana, with tan underparts and no white on throat, may represent a separate species, but this improbable unless gularis (with which moloneyana may intergrade in Ghana) also separate; analysis of available recordings suggests no differences in voice. Denser taxon sampling for DNA required, as key taxa missing from only study available#R. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. f. gularis Sharpe, 1870 – SW Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone E to SW Ghana.
  • I. f. moloneyana (Sharpe, 1892) – Rufous Illadopsis – SE Ghana E to SW Nigeria.
  • I. f. iboensis (E. J. O. Hartert, 1907) – SE Nigeria and SW Cameroon; also (probably this race) in C Nigeria (Jos Plateau).
  • I. f. fulvescens (Cassin, 1859) – Brown Illadopsis – S Cameroon S to S Congo, extreme W DRCongo, also W Central African Republic.
  • I. f. ugandae (van Someren, 1915) – SC Central African Republic and E Congo E through DRCongo to S South Sudan, Uganda, W Kenya and W Tanzania, also NE Angola.
  • I. f. dilutior (C. M. N. White, 1953) – NW Angola.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16·5 cm; 23–36 g. Nominate race has crown and cheek brownish-grey, neck side, upperparts and upperwing olive-brown, back and rump with rufous tinge,... read more


    Song, usually a duet or trio, a slow, deliberate, simple pair of melancholy whistles (each variable... read more


    Dense undergrowth in clearings, thickets along roads, treefall light-gaps and vine tangles in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly invertebrates, including small beetles (Coleoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), orthopterans (small grasshoppers, bush-crickets), termites (... read more


    Oct–Jun in Sierra Leone, Jun–Jan in Liberia, and juveniles in Oct and Dec in Ivory Coast; juveniles in Aug and breeding-... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common across range; numbers increase in logged forest (Liberia). Reports of this species’occurrence (race gularis) in Mali... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Brown Illadopsis (Illadopsis fulvescens). 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 19 April 2019).