Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Lowland Akalat (Sheppardia cyornithopsis)


French: Rougegorge merle German: Schnäpperrötel Spanish: Akelat occidental

Callene cyornithopsis


, 1901,

Efulen, Cameroon


Previously considered conspecific with S. aequatorialis. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. c. houghtoni Bannerman, 1931 – Sierra Leone, S Guinea, Liberia, S Ivory Coast and S Ghana (Atewa Range)#R.
  • S. c. cyornithopsis (Sharpe, 1901) – S Cameroon and SW Central African Republic S to Gabon and S Congo.
  • S. c. lopezi (Alexander, 1907) – N & E DRCongo, W & S Uganda and extreme NW Tanzania (Minziro Forest).
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 17–21 g. Nominate race is olive-brown above, including ear-coverts, wings dull brown; uppertail-coverts and tail fringes dull chestnut, tail otherwise dull brown... read more


    Song a series of phrases separated by several seconds’ pause and consisting of 2 soft alternating... read more


    Understorey of primary and secondary forest, in latter notably in streamside thicket and areas... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates, including beetles, ants, termites, caterpillars, small orthopterans, spiders and small millipedes. Forages mainly in... read more


    Breeding-condition males Jun–Sept and recently fledged young Jun, Oct and Nov in Liberia; adult with faecal sac Feb in Ivory Coast;... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant, but in W Africa rare to scarce or locally common. Recorded from Taï Forest National Park, in Ivory Coast; common in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Lowland Akalat (Sheppardia cyornithopsis). 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 February 2020).