Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Least Concern

Long-tailed Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella caudata)


French: Locustelle à longue queue German: Langschwanzschwirl Spanish: Zarzalero colilargo
Other common names: Long-tailed Bush-warbler

Pseudotharrhaleus caudatus


, 1895,

Lepanto Mountains, north Luzon, Philippines


Previously placed in Bradypterus. Affinities uncertain; perhaps closest to L. accentor, which it resembles closely both in plumage and in song, but the two differ significantly in features of the tail and in foot size. Vocalizations of nominate race provoked little reaction when played to unicolor on Mindanao; investigation of relationships between these taxa required. Race malindangensis incorporated in unicolor by some authorities, and their songs are not known to differ#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. c. caudata (Ogilvie-Grant, 1895) – N Luzon, in Philippines.
  • L. c. unicolor (E. J. O. Hartert, 1904) – Mindanao (except Zamboanga Peninsula), in S Philippines.
  • L. c. malindangensis (Mearns, 1909) – N Zamboanga Peninsula (W Mindanao), in S Philippines.
  • Descriptive notes

    16·5–18 cm; c. 18 g. A large, almost uniformly dark terrestrial bush-warbler, appearing all dark in gloom of forest habitat; vanes of the long tail (twelve feathers)... read more


    Song, generally delivered from low down within dense cover, differs somewhat between the two... read more


    Occupies forest undergrowth and dense secondary growth in forest clearings; occurs above 700 m.

    Food and feeding

    No dietary information available other than that species feeds on invertebrates. Forages alone or in pairs, on or close to ground, often... read more


    Birds with enlarged gonads in Feb and fledglings found in Feb, May and Sept. No other information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Luzon EBA and Mindanao and the Eastern Visayas EBA. Not common; generally reported as uncommon, this impression... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Long-tailed Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella caudata). 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 25 April 2019).