Family Australasian Robins (Petroicidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Ground-robin (Amalocichla incerta)


French: Petite Pseudobrève German: Zwergpittaschnäpper Spanish: Petroica terrestre chica

Eupetes incertus


, 1876,

Mount Arfak, New Guinea


Racial identity of birds from Huon Peninsula unclear, tentatively placed in brevicauda; races olivascentior and brevicauda may not be reliably distinguishable#R, so species perhaps better treated as monotypic. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. i. incerta (Salvadori, 1876) – Arfak Mts, in NW New Guinea.
  • A. i. olivascentior E. J. O. Hartert, 1930 – Wandammen Mts, Foja Mts, C North Coastal Range (Torricelli Mts) and mountains of C New Guinea E to Mt Karimui and perhaps to Aseki area of Morobe Province.
  • A. i. brevicauda (De Vis, 1894) – mountains of Huon Peninsula and SE New Guinea.
  • Recently found, unknown race, in Kumawa Mts#R.

    Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 30–31 g. Nominate race has crown and upperparts deep brown to rufous-brown, whitish spot on side of forehead, brown side of head; wing dusky brown,... read more


    Song described as a light breezy whistle of several notes; single individual produces two different... read more


    Montane forest, mainly at 1200–2750 m; down to 900 m in Araucaria forest.

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Feeds on forest floor, making short runs interspersed with brief stops to glean; foraging pattern likened to that of a plover (... read more


    Nest with single egg in mid-Oct and nest with hatching egg in early Jan; juvenile in Dec. Nest an open cup composed primarily of moss, with... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon to rare and local, although has been found to be locally common.

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. (2019). Lesser Ground-robin (Amalocichla incerta). 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 19 April 2019).