Family Batises and Wattle-eyes (Platysteiridae)

Least Concern

Ground Batis (Lanioturdus torquatus)


French: Lanielle à queue blanche German: Erdschnäpper Spanish: Laniotordo
Other common names: White-tailed Shrike

Lanioturdus torquatus


, 1838,

Bull’s Mouth Pass, Naukluft Mountains, Damaraland, Namibia


Proposed race mesicus (W Angola)#R considered undiagnosable. Monotypic.


SW Angola and NW & C Namibia.

Descriptive notes

14–15 cm; 23·5–45 g. A small, large-headed and short-tailed bush-shrike with long legs, somewhat crested appearance. Forehead is white, lores and crown to... read more


Male song a mix of two notes, a penetrating high-pitched, querulous crescendo whistle, "eeee... read more


Climax and degraded brachystegia (Brachystegia) woodland, Terminalia sericea and... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), moths, butterflies and caterpillars (Lepidoptera), mantids (Mantidae) and grasshoppers (Orthoptera... read more


Birds in breeding condition in Nov–Dec and eggs in Feb in Angola; Sept–Apr (mainly Feb–Mar) in Namibia. Male advertises... read more


Mainly resident. In Namibia, some move into dry riverbeds and greener suburbs in winter; in Angola... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common in Angola from NE Benguela S along coastal plain and escarpment to Namibe town, thence E to N Huíla and S to Cunene; sight record from NW of... read more

Recommended citation

Fry, H. (2020). Ground Batis (Lanioturdus torquatus). 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 29 February 2020).