Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Grey-headed Cicadabird (Edolisoma schisticeps)


French: Échenilleur de Gray German: Graukopf-Raupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero cabecigrís
Other common names: Grey-headed Cuckooshrike

Campephaga schisticeps

G. R. Gray

, 1846,

Triton Bay, south-west New Guinea


Races all at least moderately distinctive; in particular the smaller-billed vittatum, with its bar-bellied, paler rufous female and grey-eared male, but also reichenowi, with its brown-headed female and darker-chinned male, merit study of their little-known vocalizations. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. s. schisticeps (G. R. Gray, 1846) – Misool I, Salawati I and NW New Guinea (E to head of Geelvink Bay and Etna Bay).
  • E. s. reichenowi Neumann, 1917 – N New Guinea from Geelvink Bay E to Sepik Valley.
  • E. s. poliopsa Sharpe, 1882 – S New Guinea from Kaspare R E to Astrolabe Mts.
  • E. s. vittatum Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1914 – D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago (Goodenough I, Fergusson I, Normanby I).
  • Descriptive notes

    21–22 cm; 48–57 g. Male nominate race has crown and upperparts, including lesser and median upperwing-coverts, slaty grey, side of head darker grey, feathers in... read more


    Vocal and conspicuous. Male has musical “chickity-choo”, female answers with nasal... read more


    Forest, forest edges and tall secondary growth; sea-level to 1500 m, mainly 150–1200 m.

    Food and feeding

    Eats mainly fruit; also insects, including caterpillars. Gregarious and vocal; forages mainly in canopy, occasionally in middle level.


    No information.


    None recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Status poorly known. Regarded as locally common.

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). Grey-headed Cicadabird (Edolisoma schisticeps). 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 27 February 2020).