Family Vangas and allies (Vangidae)

Least Concern

Large Woodshrike (Tephrodornis virgatus)


French: Téphrodorne bridé German: Waldvanga Spanish: Ceniciento grande

Lanius virgatus


, 1824,



Usually treated as conspecific with T. sylvicola (see above); race pelvicus also suggested as perhaps a separate species, but difficult to maintain in context of apparently similar song across all remaining taxa#R; even so, three Sundaic races notably smaller, two with black tail, and these in particular require further evaluation within the complex. Sometimes referred to by older specific name gularis, but that name is preoccupied. Race verneyi often erroneously emended to vernayi, but dedicatee’s name consistently misspelt “Verney” in original description, so internal evidence does not justify emendation#R. Ten subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. v. pelvicus (Hodgson, 1837) – E Himalayas from N India (Uttarakhand) E to N, NE & SW Myanmar, also E India (Eastern Ghats).
  • T. v. jugans Deignan, 1948 – E Myanmar, S China (SW Yunnan) and NW Thailand (S to N Tak).
  • T. v. latouchei Kinnear, 1925 – S & SE China (E Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, N Guangdong, C & E Fujian).
  • T. v. hainanus Ogilvie-Grant, 1910 – N Laos, N Vietnam and Hainan.
  • T. v. verneyi Kinnear, 1924 – SE Myanmar (S to N Tenasserim) and SW Thailand.
  • T. v. annectens Robinson & Kloss, 1918 – S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and S Thailand.
  • T. v. mekongensis Meyer de Schauensee, 1946 – E & SE Thailand, S Laos, Cambodia and S Vietnam.
  • T. v. fretensis Robinson & Kloss, 1920 – SE peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia (S from Perlis and Narathiwat) and N Sumatra.
  • T. v. virgatus (Temminck, 1824) – S & SW Sumatra and Java; recorded in Bali#R.
  • T. v. frenatus Büttikofer, 1887 – Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    18·5–23 cm; 28·3–46 g. Thickset bird with heavy bill, distinct nasal tufts. Male nominate race has white forehead, blue-black mask from lores around... read more


    Song a loud, ringing “pi-pi-pi-pi-pi-pi” or “ki-ki-ki-ki” and so on,... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest, mixed deciduous forest, forest edge, logged forest with some tall trees... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eats large insects, especially mantids (Mantidae), crickets (Gryllidae), stick-insects (Phasmatodea), grasshoppers and locusts (Acrididae... read more


    Breeds Dec–Jun (mainly Mar–May) in India and in Mar–May in SE Asia; Jul in China; nest in Apr in Bhutan; clutch taken mid... read more


    Resident. Some local and altitudinal movements in Himalayas and Myanmar; in N Thailand, thought to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to locally common in Nepal and N India, with records from many protected areas, including Rajaji National Park and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Large Woodshrike (Tephrodornis virgatus). 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 22 November 2017).