Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Miombo Wren-warbler (Calamonastes undosus)


French: Camaroptère du miombo German: Miombobindensänger Spanish: Camaróptera del miombo

Drymoeca undosa


, 1882,

Kakoma, Tabora, Tanzania


Has been considered conspecific with C. simplex and, more frequently, with C. stierlingi; but no intergradation with C. simplex where ranges meet (in N Tanzania and SW Kenya); narrow (15–20 km wide) zone of hybridization with C. stierlingi in C Zambia and N Malawi, but quite distinct in plumage and songs (hybrids intermediate in appearance, may have intermediate songs). Aberrant juveniles of race cinereus having buffy-olive underparts were erroneously described as a separate taxon, Camaroptera brachyura congica. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. u. cinereus Reichenow, 1887 – lower R Congo in W DRCongo, N & NE Angola (Cabinda, and Malanje and Lunda Norte S to Huambo) and NW Zambia.
  • C. u. huilae (Meise, 1958) – WC Angola.
  • C. u. katangae Neave, 1909 – SE DRCongo and Zambia (except NW).
  • C. u. undosus (Reichenow, 1882) – E Rwanda, E Burundi, Tanzania, SW Uganda (Lake Mburo)#R and SW Kenya (Mara Game Reserve and Loita Hills).
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 11–15 g. A dark woodland warbler with plain to finely barred underparts. Nominate race has crown, lores and ear-coverts and upperparts brown, slightly darker on... read more


    Male song a loud “whieu” or “cherp” repeated monotonously at 0·8–1·2 notes per second, closer... read more


    Broadleaf woodland, especially miombo (Brachystegia), mainly in thickets on termitaria and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects. Occurs singly, in pairs or in family parties; occasionally joins mixed-species flocks. Forages by gleaning leaves and... read more


    Breeds Sept–May. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. Nest framework ball-shaped, with side entrance covered by a porch at top... read more


    Little known; presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common.

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Miombo Wren-warbler (Calamonastes undosus). 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).