Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Namaqua Warbler (Phragmacia substriata)


French: Apalis namaqua German: Namafeinsänger Spanish: Prinia namaqua
Other common names: Namaqua Prinia, White-breasted Prinia

Drymoica substriata

A. Smith

, 1842,

Olifants River, Western Cape, South Africa


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. confinis (Clancey, 1991) – S Namibia (lower R Fish) and lower R Orange (E in South Africa to Upington).
  • P. s. substriata (A. Smith, 1842) – C & W South Africa (from middle R Orange E to C & SW Free State, and S Northern Cape and interior Western Cape E to C Eastern Cape).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; male 10–13 g, female 9–11 g. A petite, prinia-like warbler with long, graduated tail and rather plain face. Male nominate race has central crown... read more


    Song, usually from elevated perch near top of reed or just inside canopy of acacia tree (Acacia... read more


    Confined to Namib-Karoo biome; occurs in reedbeds and in Acacia karroo and Tamarix... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects and other small invertebrates, including weevils and other beetles (Coleoptera), ants and wasps (Hymenoptera), bugs (... read more


    Season mainly Aug–Oct, with some nests through to Apr. Probably monogamous; solitary, pairs spaced c. 100 m apart in SE of range;... read more


    Mainly resident; moves locally in SE of range in winter, entering gardens from adjacent natural... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common throughout most of its range. Some evidence that numbers have increased locally in S Karoo. In Eastern Cape of South Africa, many... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Namaqua Warbler (Phragmacia substriata). 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).