Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis)


French: Prinia gracile German: Streifenprinie Spanish: Prinia grácil

S[ylvia]. gracilis

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,



Racial variation largely clinal, and often obscured by effects of plumage wear. Twelve subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. g. akyildizi Watson, 1961 – S Turkey, possibly into NW Syria.
  • P. g. palaestinae Zedlitz, 1911 – Lebanon, S Syria, E Israel, Jordan and NW Saudi Arabia.
  • P. g. deltae Reichenow, 1904 – W Israel S to N Egypt (R Nile Delta).
  • P. g. natronensis Nicoll, 1917 – Wadi el Natron, in N Egypt.
  • P. g. gracilis (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) – R Nile from N Egypt (Cairo) S to S Sudan.
  • P. g. carlo Zedlitz, 1911 – Red Sea coast from NE Sudan S to Somalia.
  • P. g. yemenensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1909 – W coast of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and S Oman.
  • P. g. hufufae Ticehurst & Cheesman, 1924 – NE Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
  • P. g. carpenteri Meyer de Schauensee & Ripley, 1953 – N Oman and probably the United Arab Emirates#R.
  • P. g. irakensis R. Meinertzhagen, 1923 – NE Syria, Iraq and SW Iran, possibly this race into Kuwait#R.
  • P. g. lepida Blyth, 1844 – SE Iran, S & C Afghanistan, Pakistan and N India to SC Nepal.
  • P. g. stevensi E. J. O. Hartert, 1923 – SE Nepal, NE India and Bangladesh.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–13 cm; 6–8 g. A tiny, greyish prinia, well streaked above, with long, narrow and strongly graduated tail. Nominate race has indistinct creamy supercilium above... read more


    Male song, from favoured perch (occasionally in flight), throughout year but more intensively in... read more


    Rank vegetation in fairly arid areas, including shrubs and small trees, herbs and forbs, reedbeds,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food insects, including beetles and their larvae (Coleoptera), caterpillars and adult lepidopterans, grasshoppers (Orthoptera), flies (... read more


    Egg-laying in Feb–Jul (mainly Apr–Jun) in Egypt, Israel and Iraq, Dec–May in Ethiopia and Somalia, Feb–Oct in... read more


    Mainly resident, but moves locally in Somalia, and thought to move between islands and mainland on... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Abundant throughout much of its range. Population in Egypt estimated at in excess of 100,000 pairs. At N edge of range, in Turkey, population fell by... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2020). Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis). 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 February 2020).