Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Karoo Eremomela (Eremomela gregalis)


French: Érémomèle du Karoo German: Langschwanzeremomela Spanish: Eremomela del Karoo
Other common names: Yellow-rumped Eremomela

Malcorus gregalis

A. Smith

, 1829,

Husab, Swakop River, Damaraland, Namibia


Proposed race albigularis, described from Beaufort West, in NE Western Cape (South Africa), synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. g. damarensis Wahlberg, 1855 – Oosop area on R Swakop, in W Namibia.
  • E. g. gregalis (A. Smith, 1829) – SW Namibia and SW South Africa (S to Western Cape and E to W Eastern Cape).
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm. Nominate race has top of head and upperparts greyish-green, greyer on forehead, greener on rump; lores dark, side of head grey; upperwing brown, edges of remiges and... read more


    Song, which may begin well before dawn, a high-pitched, continuous far-carrying “seep-seep-... read more


    Karoo scrub, shrubby desert and semi-desert, bushes on rocky hillsides in arid areas; often in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small insects. Forages in pairs or small groups, low down among branches and twigs of shrubs and bushes or on ground.


    Season May–Dec, mainly Oct–Nov. Nest a thick-walled cup of thin twigs, grass and plant down, lined with soft downy seeds,... read more


    Largely sedentary; may move locally in response to rainfall.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common. Confined to S Africa, with restricted range centred on arid scrub in the Karoo and extending to coastal Namibia. Heavy... read more

    Recommended citation

    Pearson, D. (2019). Karoo Eremomela (Eremomela gregalis). 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 26 August 2019).