Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Cisticola (Cisticola cherina)


French: Cisticole malgache German: Madagaskarzistensänger Spanish: Cistícola malgache

Drymoica cherina

A. Smith

, 1843,



Close relationship to C. juncidis and C. haesitatus postulated. Monotypic.


Madagascar, and S Seychelles (Cosmoledo, Astove, Glorieuses Is).

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; 8–11 g. A small cisticola with a medium-short rounded tail and streaked upperparts; has capped appearance; overall plumage tone varies from buffier to... read more


Male sings monotonous “tsit tsit tsit…or “tint tint tint…” in aerial display; also gives hoarser “... read more


Wide range of open habitats, including savanna, grassland, dune-scrub, marshes, pastures, and... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects, including flies (Diptera), caterpillars and occasional moths (Lepidoptera). Occurs singly, in pairs or in family... read more


Nesting occurs in all months, mainly Nov–Apr. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. Male has undulating aerial song display, 3... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common throughout Madagascar. Remains abundant on Cosmoledo and Astove Atolls, despite presence there of introduced rats (Rattus).

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Madagascar Cisticola (Cisticola cherina). 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 September 2019).