Family Crombecs and allies (Macrosphenidae)

Least Concern

Green Crombec (Sylvietta virens)


French: Crombec vert German: Grünmantelsylvietta Spanish: Crombec verde

Sylvietta virens


, 1859,

Setté Cama, Gabon


Race flaviventris close to species status, appearing strikingly different owing to its yellow lower breast and upper belly (3), and both throat and upper breast may be a shade paler (1), with a narrow zone of hybridization around lower R Niger (2); but measurements and song undifferentiated#R. Proposed race meridionalis (from NW Angola) synonymized with tando. Four subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. v. flaviventris (Sharpe, 1877) – Yellow-bellied Crombec – Gambia, S Senegal, and S Guinea S to Liberia and E to SW Nigeria.
  • S. v. virens Cassin, 1859 – Green Crombec – SE Nigeria E to Central African Republic, S to Gabon and middle R Congo.
  • S. v. baraka Sharpe, 1897 – DRCongo (E of middle R Congo) E to S South Sudan (Bengangai Forest, Imatongs), W & S Uganda and W Kenya (Busia district), S to extreme NE Angola, Rwanda, Burundi and extreme NW Tanzania (Bukoba).
  • S. v. tando W. L. Sclater, 1927 – S Congo and lower R Congo S to NW Angola (Cabinda, and Uíge S to Luanda, Malanje and N Cuanza Sul).
  • Descriptive notes

    8·5–9 cm; 8·7 g. A small, rather slender-billed and dingy crombec of forest and secondary growth. Nominate race has top and side of head dark tawny-brown, well-marked... read more


    Song a clear, high, rapidly delivered, varying phrase, “skireet-sew eet-si-sew”, or longer “sit-sit... read more


    Thick undergrowth near edges and clearings in primary forest; secondary forest and gallery forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small arthropods; recorded items include ants (Hymenoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), mantids, flies (Diptera), bugs (Hemiptera), orthopterans... read more


    Breeds Jun–Aug in Ivory Coast, May in Nigeria, Oct–Feb in Gabon, Jan–Apr and Jul in DRCongo and Oct in Sudan. Monogamous... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and generally common to fairly common. Common to abundant in Liberia, where estimated minimum of 400,000 pairs. Density of 2–4... read more

    Recommended citation

    Pearson, D. (2019). Green Crombec (Sylvietta virens). 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 2019).