Family White-eyes and Yuhinas (Zosteropidae)

Least Concern

Cape White-eye (Zosterops virens)


French: Zostérops du Cap German: Kapbrillenvogel Spanish: Anteojitos de El Cabo

Zosterops virens


, 1850,



In HBW considered conspecific with Z. pallidus, but here treated as a separate species based on its molecular distance#R and green or grey vs peachy flanks (2); green or grey vs white belly (2); less subdued song and higher-pitched, less staccato contact calls#R (2); and, based on published maps#R#R#R broad zone of either sympatry (no score; clearly two species) or intermediacy (1). When split from Z. pallidus, name virens has priority for present species#R#R. Molecular and other recent evidence has led to the synonymization of races atmorii with capensis and caniviridis with the nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • Z. v. virens Sundevall, 1850 – Green White-eye – E & SE Botswana, N & E South Africa (S to Eastern Cape), extreme SW Mozambique and Swaziland.
  • Z. v. capensis Sundevall, 1850 – Cape White-eye – SW South Africa (E to W Eastern Cape), Lesotho and adjacent W KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Descriptive notes

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    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. (2019). Cape White-eye (Zosterops virens). 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 22 August 2019).