Family Scimitar-babblers and allies (Timaliidae)

Least Concern

Crescent-chested Babbler (Cyanoderma melanothorax)


French: Timalie perlée German: Perlwangen-Buschtimalie Spanish: Timalí perlado

Myiothera melanothorax


, 1823,

Mount Gede (6°47’ S, 106°59’ E), west Java


Has sometimes been placed in Macronus. Plumage geographically variable, to greater extent than reflected by current subspecific classification; nevertheless, mendeni and albigula sometimes merged with nominate. A further, undescribed race may exist on Bawean I, off NE Java. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. melanothorax (Temminck, 1823) – W & C Java.
  • C. m. mendeni Neumann, 1935 – Indramayu, in W Java.
  • C. m. albigula Stresemann, 1930 – Mt Papandayan, in W Java.
  • C. m. intermedium (Robinson, 1918) – E Java.
  • C. m. baliense E. J. O. Hartert, 1915 – Bali.
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm. Small, rather long-billed Stachyris babbler, ochrous-brown above, with rufous wings, pale below, with black crescent across breast. Nominate race has crown... read more


    Song a quick rolling piping trill, “phr’r’r’r’r’r’r... read more


    Dense thickets and thick scrub usually at forest edge, monsoon forest, wooded areas around villages... read more

    Food and feeding

    Spiders (Araneae) and insects. Forages in parties, occasionally associating with Stachyris thoracica and S. grammiceps,... read more


    Recorded in all months except Jul (peak May–Jun in W Java). Nest a hollow dome with large side entrance near top, made of rattan,... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Java and Bali Forests EBA. Generally common. Common in Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park and present in Ujung... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Crescent-chested Babbler (Cyanoderma melanothorax). 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 20 August 2019).