Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Red-headed Malimbe (Malimbus rubricollis)


French: Malimbe à tête rouge German: Kletterweber Spanish: Malimbo cabecirrojo

Ploceus rubricollis


, 1838,

Malembo, Cabinda, Angola


Several races proposed, including bartletti (W Guinea to W Togo), nigeriae (from Iju, near Lagos, in Nigeria), rufovelatus (from Bioko), centralis (described from Ndussuma, in Ituri district of NE DRCongo) and praedi (from N’dalatando, in W Angola); these, however, are separated by only slight differences in size, and variation in other characters considered trivial. Treated as monotypic.


W Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia E to S Nigeria, Bioko, S Cameroon, S Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, N, E & SW Congo, NW & W Angola (Cabinda; Uíge S to Cuanza Sul), also much of DRCongo (except extreme N and S & SE), extreme S South Sudan, W & S Uganda, extreme W Kenya (Kakamega and Nyandoro) and extreme NW Tanzania (Bukoba).

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 40–55 g. Male has forehead, crown and nape scarlet, crown feathers stiff and spiky, scarlet extending behind ear-coverts to sides of neck; lores, cheek and ear-... read more


Song of introductory whistles, ending in sizzling "whuduteew-whuduteew szszszrrrrr"; male... read more


Present in lowland primary forest and also transitional forest, as well as forest edge and... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insectivorous; in Ivory Coast diet estimated at 50% arthropods, 30% fruit, 20% other material. Insect prey include ants (Formicidae... read more


Breeds Jul in Sierra Leone, Jan–Apr in Liberia, Dec–Mar in Ghana, Mar in Togo, Apr–May in Benin, mainly Nov–Apr (... read more


Apparently sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and fairly common within forest regions. Occasional records in extreme S Mali. One specimen of this species noted (of 2251 birds offered... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. (2020). Red-headed Malimbe (Malimbus rubricollis). 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 28 February 2020).