Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

Limestone Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus calciatilis)


French: Pouillot calciatile German: Karstlaubsänger Spanish: Mosquitero roquero

Phylloscopus calciatilis

Alström et al.

, 2009,

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province, Central Annam, Vietnam


Related to P. ricketti and P. cantator; closest to latter on molecular evidence, but more similar to former in plumage pattern and in yellow colour of belly. Acknowledged by describers#R (all mensural analysis here based on their data) that all three forms might be united in one species, but present species differs from P. ricketti in its marginally colder yellow underparts and more greyish-tinged upperparts with marginally greyer lateral crownstripes (1); shorter wing (effect size for males −2.8, score 2); longer bill (effect size for males 1.48, score 1); lower-pitched song (minimum frequency 3 vs 4 kHz) (2) with fewer repeat phrases (1); also very different calls (ns[2]). Differs from P. cantator in its yellow vs white belly (3); shorter wing (effect size for males −0.88, score 1); longer bill (effect size for males 1.86, score 1); lower-pitched song (minimum frequency 3 vs 4 kHz) (2) with steeply downslurred final note (1). Description in Jan 2010 issue of journal, but first published in Dec 2009. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Limestone karst regions of N & C Vietnam and N & C Laos, extending also into karst areas in extreme S China (Guangxi).

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm. A medium-sized leaf-warbler with yellow and black headstripes and yellow underparts. Lateral crownstripe blackish throughout length, median crownstripe and... read more


Song and call diagnostic. Song 7–9 softly whistled notes of varying pitch, duration and... read more


Forest on low limestone karst mountains, at c. 700–1200 m.

Food and feeding

No information.


Singing in mid-Feb in EC Laos (Hin Namno), and food-carrying male observed in mid-Apr in adjacent NC Vietnam (Phong Nha-Ke); at Nadi and... read more


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Annamese lowlands EBA. Not well known. Locally not rare. Recorded regularly, and is reasonably... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. (2019). Limestone Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus calciatilis). 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 17 August 2019).