Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Cricket Warbler (Spiloptila clamans)


French: Spiloptile à front écailleux German: Schuppenkopfsänger Spanish: Prinia charlatana
Other common names: Cricket Longtail

Malurus clamans


, 1826,





SW Western Sahara#R and Sahel Zone from S Mauritania and N Senegal E to Sudan and N Eritrea.

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; 6–8 g. A tiny, prinia-like warbler with long, strongly graduated tail (of twelve feathers), highly distinctive plumage. Male has crown speckled black... read more


Song, given while moving through vegetation (not from exposed perch), a high-pitched, slightly... read more


Confined to Sahel biome; occurs in arid and semi-arid savannas, mainly in acacia (Acacia)... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects. Forages singly, in paris or in small family parties. Moves through scrubby vegetation or on ground; tail continuously... read more


Mainly Jun–Dec, but may breed at other times (e.g. Jan–Apr in Sudan), possibly linked to local rainfall. Probably monogamous;... read more


Little known; presumably mostly resident, but may be a partial migrant along N edge of range.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common; uncommon in some areas. Recently found breeding in Western Sahara, near Awserd, c.120 km N of Mauritanian border.

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2020). Cricket Warbler (Spiloptila clamans). 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 23 January 2020).