Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Crested Malimbe (Malimbus malimbicus)


French: Malimbe huppé German: Haubenweber Spanish: Malimbo crestado

Tanagra malimbica


, 1802,

Malembo, Cabinda, Angola


Differences between nominate race and larger-billed crassirostris possibly due to clinal variation, and latter perhaps better subsumed into nominate; further study required. Three subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. m. nigrifrons (Hartlaub, 1855) – Sierra Leone, SE Guinea, Liberia, S Ivory Coast, S Ghana and Togo.
  • M. m. malimbicus (Daudin, 1802) – S Nigeria, S Cameroon, SW Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, W DRCongo (around mouth of R Congo) and NW Angola (Cabinda and Cuanza Norte).
  • M. m. crassirostris E. J. O. Hartert, 1919 – SE Central African Republic, N, W & E DRCongo, and W & SW Uganda.
  • Descriptive notes

    17 cm; 30–40 g. Male nominate race has red crown with long crest of spiky feathers, red extending over ear-­coverts and cheek to chin (except for black strip... read more


    Song has been described as a varied mixture of twitters and sizzling; reported as singing one theme... read more


    Primary lowland forest and old secondary forest, also banana, coffee and oil palm (Elaeis... read more

    Food and feeding

    On basis of observations, and stomach contents of 20 specimens, diet includes arthropods such as spiders (Araneae), grasshoppers (... read more


    Breeds in Apr in Guinea, Sept–Nov in Liberia, Apr–May and Sept in Ivory Coast, Feb in Nigeria, Aug–Nov in Cameroon, Nov... read more


    Generally sedentary. Unconfirmed reports from SE Mali, where species might be a seasonal visitor.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread within forested regions, and locally common to uncommon. Only isolated records from Togo and unconfirmed ones from Mali. Records from... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. (2020). Crested Malimbe (Malimbus malimbicus). 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 25 February 2020).