Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Cunene Long-tailed Starling (Lamprotornis violacior)


French: Choucador du Cunene German: Mopaneglanzstar Spanish: Estornino de Cunene

Lamprotornis mevesii violacior


, 1973,

Cunene River, between Rua Cana Falls and Erikson’s Drift, Nankwali Rapids, Otjibombe, Angola–Namibia border


Hitherto treated as conspecific with L. mevesii and L. benguelensis, but differs from latter in characters given under that species. Differs from former in its royal-purple vs deep turquoise breast, crown and back, latter colour spreading much farther onto remiges (4); dull reddish-copper vs strong purple rump and uppertail-coverts (2); duller blackish-copper vs purplish-copper belly coloration (1); longer wings#R (at least 1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

SW Angola (C & S Huíla S to Cunene and W Cuando Cubango) and NW Namibia.

Descriptive notes

30–36 cm. Fairly large starling with long, strongly graduated tail, central rectrices clearly longest. Adult has crown to mantle, sides of neck, throat and breast strongly... read more


No specific information, but vocalizations not known to differ from formerly conspecific L.... read more


Preferences much as for L. mevesii, i.e. open woodland on level ground with tall trees... read more

Food and feeding

Almost nothing known, although diet and foraging behaviour are presumably similar to those of other Lamprotornis starlings. In... read more


Virtually nothing known, but nest with three nestlings in early May in S Angola.


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common, but population size is unknown. Overall range has been estimated at c. 172,000 km². Occurs in Bikuar National Park,... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Cunene Long-tailed Starling (Lamprotornis violacior). 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).