Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Green Twinspot (Mandingoa nitidula)


French: Astrild vert German: Tropfengrünastrild Spanish: Estrilda verde
Other common names: Green-backed Twinspot

Estrelda nitidula


, 1865,

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Subspecies chubbi appears intermediate between the other two. Proposed race virginiae (described from R Opu, on Bioko) treated as a synonym of schlegeli. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. n. schlegeli (Sharpe, 1870) – W Guinea and Sierra Leone E, discontinuously, to DRCongo and W Uganda, S to NW Angola; also Bioko.
  • M. n. chubbi (Ogilvie-Grant, 1912) – Ethiopia, SE South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania (including Pemba I), Zanzibar, Zambia and N Malawi.
  • M. n. nitidula (Hartlaub, 1865) – S Malawi, Mozambique, E Zimbabwe, E South Africa (Limpopo Province, KwaZulu-Natal and E Eastern Cape) and W Swaziland.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 8·5-10 g (chubbi). Male nominate race has area from lores to behind eye and to chin red, crown, upperparts, upperwing and tail olive-green; rear ear-... read more


    Contact call a chirping "tzeeet", alarm a low "dzzhurrrr". Song a medley of calls and buzzy,... read more


    Evergreen scrub, forest understorey and forest edge, thickets, bamboo, riverine forest, plantations... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small grass seeds, especially those of creeping forest grass (Oplismenus hirtellus) in shady areas under trees, also rice, seeds... read more


    Season Sept–Oct in Liberia, Nov–Dec in Gabon, Jan–May in Zambia and Malawi, Oct–Nov in Zimbabwe, and Dec–Apr... read more


    Chiefly resident. Some altitudinal movements indicated by breeding-season records at higher... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Scarce or uncommon to locally abundant. Known distribution very patchy, but this species is possibly overlooked because of its secretive habits and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Green Twinspot (Mandingoa nitidula). 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 17 February 2020).