Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Red-tailed Ant-thrush (Neocossyphus rufus)


French: Néocossyphe à queue rousse German: Rotschwanz-Fuchsdrossel Spanish: Zorzal colirrufo

Pseudocossyphus rufus

G. A. Fischer and Reichenow

, 1884,

Pangani, Tanzania


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. r. gabunensis Neumann, 1908 – C & S Cameroon and Gabon E to N DRCongo and W Uganda.
  • N. r. rufus (G. A. Fischer & Reichenow, 1884) – E Kenya and E Tanzania, including Zanzibar. One record from S Somalia (Boni Forest#R), where status unknown.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–25 cm; 53–80 g. Nominate race is rufous-brown, duller and greyer brown on head and upperparts; tail bright ­rufous except for darker central feather pair;... read more


    Song consists of 2 clear high even whistles (commonly used as calls, and during aggression at ant... read more


    Floor and lower understorey, occasionally middle strata, of primary lowland forest, rarely adjacent... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects such as grasshoppers (Orthoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), ants (Hymenoptera), caterpillars, but also spiders, small... read more


    Little information; only three nests found. Nov in Cameroon and Dec–Jan in Gabon; Apr–May, and breeding-condition bird in Sept... read more


    Presumably sedentary. Occasional wandering or dispersal indicated by single records from Central... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rare to locally common. Average density 3–4 pairs/km² in Gabon, where commoner at 800–1000 m than at lower levels. Nominate race fairly... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2019). Red-tailed Ant-thrush (Neocossyphus rufus). 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 June 2019).