Family Spot-throat and allies (Modulatricidae)


Dapple-throat (Arcanator orostruthus)


French: Modulatrice grivelée German: Strichelkehlsopranist Spanish: Tordina manchada

Phyllastrephus orostruthus


, 1933,

Mt Namuli, Mozambique


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. o. amani (W. L. Sclater & Moreau, 1935) – E Usambara Mts, in NE Tanzania.
  • A. o. sanjei (Jensen & Stuart, 1982) – Udzungwa Mts, in S Tanzania.
  • A. o. orostruthus (Vincent, 1933) – Mt Namuli and Mt Mabu, in N Mozambique.
  • Descriptive notes

    17–19 cm. Dark greenish-olive babbler-like passerine with pale sulphur-tinted underparts heavily marked with soft-edged dark spots and streaks, very rounded wings.... read more


    Song pure and pleasant but not rich, of several types, all rapidly delivered and of short, clear,... read more


    Undisturbed wet luxuriant montane evergreen forest, especially near streams, at 900–1800 m;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates; stomach contents revealed insects. Terrestrial; forages invariably on ground. Tosses leaves in search of items. Rather... read more


    Juv in Nov (E Usambara Mts) and breeding-condition bird in Nov, adult with brood patch in early Aug and another with brood patch in late... read more



    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Tanzania-Malawi Mountains EBA. Rare to locally fairly common. Global population estimated at 10,000–20,000 individuals... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Dapple-throat (Arcanator orostruthus). 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 18 February 2020).