Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Pied Triller (Lalage nigra)


French: Échenilleur térat German: Weißstirn-Raupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero pío

Turdus niger

J. R. Forster

, 1781,

East Indies = Manila, Philippines


Has been considered conspecific with L. leucopygialis, or sometimes with L. sueurii; may be sympatric with latter in C Java. Despite absence of significant plumage or vocal differences between nominate race and striga, mtDNA divergence between the two is evident#R; further research required. In the past, type specimen of present species was reckoned to have come from Singapore; populations of mainland SE Asia, Sumatra and Java (now labelled as race striga) then constituted nominate race, while populations of Borneo and Philippines (now considered to form nominate) were allotted race chilensis. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. n. davisoni Kloss, 1926 – C Nicobar Is (Camorta, Katchall, Trinkat).
  • L. n. striga (Horsfield, 1821) – S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra (including Nias I), Bangka, Belitung and W Java (including Karimunjawa Is).
  • L. n. nigra (J. R. Forster, 1781) – Borneo and adjacent islands, and Philippines.
  • Descriptive notes

    16·5–18 cm (striga, nigra), 13·5–14 cm (davisoni); 20–31 g. Male nominate race has forehead, crown, nape, mantle and scapulars... read more


    Has rather nasal chuckles, e.g. “chaka-chevu”, “whéék-chuk” and similar; rattling “wheek... read more


    Open woodland, forest edge, farmland, roadsides and gardens in villages and towns, cultivation,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food arthropods, mainly caterpillars (Lepidoptera) and “hard insects”; some fruit, mostly small berries (e.g. of euphorbs such as ... read more


    Breeds May in Nicobars, Feb–Aug in Malay Peninsula, Feb–Apr and Jun–Aug in Sumatra, Jun in Borneo and May–Jun in... read more


    Primarily resident. Recorded seasonal changes in abundance in Singapore are suggestive of migration... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. In Peninsular Malaysia, regular and common in S and on W coastal plain, but local and uncommon to rare elsewhere; locally common to uncommon in S... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). Pied Triller (Lalage nigra). 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 February 2020).