Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Polynesian Triller (Lalage maculosa)


French: Échenilleur de Polynésie German: Südsee-Raupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero polinesio

Colluricincla maculosa


, 1848,

Upolu, Samoa


Plumage differences among subspecies rather marked; further research, including investigation of vocalizations, may produce interesting results. Sixteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. m. melanopygia Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – Santa Cruz Is (Utupa, Nendo).
  • L. m. vanikorensis Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – Santa Cruz Is (Vanikoro).
  • L. m. modesta Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – N & C Vanuatu (Espiritu Santo, Malo, Malakula, Pauuma, Epi, Tongoa and Emae).
  • L. m. ultima Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – C Vanuatu (Éfaté I).
  • L. m. rotumae Neumann, 1927 – Rotuma I (N of Fiji).
  • L. m. mixta Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – NW & C Fiji Is (Yasawa, Naviti, Yadua, Ovalau, Mathuata, Mathathoni Levu).
  • L. m. woodi Wetmore, 1925 – N Fiji (Vanua Levu, Kioa, Taveuni, Qamea).
  • L. m. pumila Neumann, 1927 – SW Fiji (Viti Levu).
  • L. m. soror Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – SW Fiji (Kadavu).
  • L. m. nesophila Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – Lau Archipelago (E of Fiji).
  • L. m. futunae Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – Wallis and Futuna Is (Futuna, Alofi).
  • L. m. maculosa (Peale, 1848) – Samoa (Savaii, Upolu).
  • L. m. keppeli Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – Tafahi I and Niuatoputopu I (N of Tonga).
  • L. m. vauana Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – N Tonga Is (Vava’u Group).
  • L. m. tabuensis Mayr & Ripley, 1941 – Tonga (except Vava’u Group).
  • L. m. whitmeei Sharpe, 1878 – Niue I (E of Tonga).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm; c. 30 g. Male nominate race has broad white supercilium, black line through eye to nape; neck sides white, almost forming collar on hindneck; top of head and... read more


    Call is a loud “tchick”; also gives a loud, ringing “peach-it” or “... read more


    Forest and forest edges, from lowlands to mountains; often found also in gardens and parks, and at... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food insects “and other animals”. Often forages on ground. No other information available.


    Virtually unknown. A nest in Tonga in September was high up in a Casuarina tree. Recorded collecting lichens as nest material in Fiji in... read more


    None recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Vanuatu and Temotu EBA, Fiji EBA and Samoan Islands EBA. Current status not well known. Recently thought to be... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & Bonan, A. (2020). Polynesian Triller (Lalage maculosa). 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).