Family Honeyguides (Indicatoridae)

Least Concern

Cassin's Honeybird (Prodotiscus insignis)


French: Indicateur pygmée German: Liliputlaubpicker Spanish: Indicador insigne
Other common names: Western Green-backed Honeyguide, Cassin's Honeyguide, Western Green-backed Honeybird

Hetærodes insignis


, 1856,

Moonda River, Gabon


Closely related to P. zambesiae, and has in the past been considered conspecific; the two possibly meet in Angola. Race lathburyi of P. zambesiae, previously considered probably intermediate form, sometimes placed erroneously with present species. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. i. flavodorsalis Bannerman, 1923 – Sierra Leone E to SW Nigeria.
  • P. i. insignis (Cassin, 1856) – SE Nigeria S to N Angola, E in N DRCongo to South Sudan and W Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 10 cm; male 8·9–12 g, female 9–13 g. Small, greenish bird with thin, flycatcher-like bill. Both sexes of nominate race various shades of green above,... read more


    Almost unknown; chattering calls reported, also weak “ski-a” or “whi-hihi”... read more


    Primary and well-developed secondary forest, riverine forest, forest edges and clearings, and large... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, preferentially scale insects (Coccidae) and their exudate, also wasps, caterpillars, flies, shield-bugs (Pentatomidae), and others... read more


    May in Liberia; recorded in Oct–Nov in Sierra Leone; Sept–Jan in Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon and Angola; probably Jun–Sept in... read more


    Probably only local movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very little known; widespread but never common, and range apparently disjunct. Few specimens from C Congo Basin, which is generally not considered... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L., Horne, J.F.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Cassin's Honeybird (Prodotiscus insignis). 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 16 September 2019).