Family Nuthatches (Sittidae)

Least Concern

Indian Spotted Creeper (Salpornis spilonota)


French: Salpornis tacheté German: Indienstammsteiger Spanish: Agateador moteado indio
Other common names: Indian Salpornis

Certhia spilonota


, 1831,

between Calcutta and Benares, India


Until recently considered conspecific with S. salvadori. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. s. rajputanae R. Meinertzhagen & A. C. Meinertzhagen, 1926 – C & SE Rajasthan (E from Sambhar, Ajmer, Aravalli Hills and Mt Abu), in WC India.
  • S. s. spilonota (Franklin, 1831) – C India from E Gujarat (E from Rajpipla and Disa) and S Haryana (Gurgaon) E to N Uttar Pradesh (Gonda, near Nepalese border) and N Bihar, S to E Maharashtra, N Andhra Pradesh and SE Madhya Pradesh (Bastar district); also Goa (Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; 14 g. Very distinctive if seen well, with spotted and barred plumage, long, slender, decurved bill and bark-gleaning habits; tail slightly rounded and, unlike... read more


    Calls include a series of full, strident, rising, lower then higher notes, “tui-tui-tui... read more


    Found in fairly open deciduous forest of acacia (Acacia), teak (Tectona) etc.,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food insects, including moths and caterpillars (Lepidoptera), beetles (Coleoptera) and bugs (Hemiptera), also spiders (Araneae). Forages on... read more


    Season Feb–Jun. Nest a neat, deep cup constructed from flower and leaf stalks, rootlets and bark chips, cemented on outside with spider... read more


    Resident and probably largely sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rather scarce and local. Often shy and elusive; easily overlooked and may be commoner in areas of suitable habitat than records... read more

    Recommended citation

    Harrap, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Indian Spotted Creeper (Salpornis spilonota). 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 21 February 2020).