Family Bush-shrikes (Malaconotidae)

Near Threatened

Lagden's Bush-shrike (Malaconotus lagdeni)


French: Gladiateur de Lagden German: Lagdenwürger Spanish: Gladiador de Lagden

Laniarius lagdeni


, 1884,

“Ashantee“(Kumasi), south Ghana


Voice suggests that this species is closest to M. cruentus; the two are largely sympatric and thus best regarded as separate species. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. l. lagdeni (Sharpe, 1884) – SE Sierra Leone E to Ghana, possibly to W Togo.
  • M. l. centralis Neumann, 1920 – E DRCongo, W Uganda and W Rwanda, possibly also Burundi.
  • Descriptive notes

    24·5–25·5 cm; male 84–97 g. Nominate race has forehead to hindneck and side of neck uniformly dark grey, mantle to tail bright olive-green, tail... read more


    A mournful, quavering, drawn-out "whoooooo" or "uuuuuuuh", 0·5–0... read more


    Dense creepers in evergreen rainforest, in W Africa at 100–700 m and in E of range at 1400... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including katydids (Tettigoniidae); also small vertebrates, including a frog, a 10-cm-long Agama lizard, and a Blue-... read more


    Various evidence indicates approximate seasons Jun–Jul in Liberia, Oct–Jan in Ivory Coast, Dec to at least Feb in DRCongo, and... read more


    Appears to be entirely sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. In ­Sierra Leone, uncommon in Gola Forest, formerly probably more widespread. In Liberia, widely... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fry, H. (2020). Lagden's Bush-shrike (Malaconotus lagdeni). 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).