Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Mali Firefinch (Lagonosticta virata)


French: Amarante de Kulikoro German: Maliamarant Spanish: Amaranta de Mali

Lagonosticta rubricata virata


, 1932,

Koulikoro, Mali


See L. rhodopareia. Monotypic.


SE Senegal and S Mali.

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm; 8·5-10·9 g. Male has crown brownish-grey, mantle and back grey-brown, rump and uppertail-coverts red, tail black, outer margins of rectrices red; upperwing... read more


Male distance contact call a prolonged plaintive whistle, "feeu", descending from 5 kHz... read more


Rocky hillsides, grassy and bushy areas around base of rocky hills, and acacia (Acacia)... read more

Food and feeding

Small grass seeds, taken on the ground. Forages in pairs and singly, sometimes in small flocks.


Breeding records Jul–Dec. In courtship, male holds feather or grass stem by base in bill, bounces up and down on perch; females calls... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Upper Niger Valley Secondary Area. Uncommon to locally common. In Senegal found only in SE (100 km S of Goudiry... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Mali Firefinch (Lagonosticta virata). 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 21 May 2019).