Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Red-throated Twinspot (Hypargos niveoguttatus)


French: Sénégali enflammé German: Tropfenastrild Spanish: Estrilda golirroja
Other common names: Peters's Twinspot

Spermophaga niveoguttata

W. K. H. Peters

, 1868,

Inhambane, Mozambique


Races differ minimally, and species sometimes regarded as monotypic. Proposed races idius (described from R Kihambwe, c. 29 km N of Kibondo, in NW Tanzania) and interior (from Sanyati I, on L Kariba, in NW Zimbabwe) treated as synonyms of macrospilotus, as also is baddeleyi (described from Nacala, in NE Mozambique). Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. n. macrospilotus Mearns, 1913 – NE Angola, SE DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi, SE Kenya and extreme S Somalia S to N Zimbabwe and N & C Mozambique (to S of R Zambezi).
  • H. n. niveoguttatus (W. K. H. Peters, 1868) – E Zimbabwe and S Mozambique.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 12·4-16·9 g (macrospilotus). Male nominate race has forehead and crown grey, back and wing brown, lower rump and uppertail-coverts wine-red, tail... read more


    Close contact call a soft rising "tseet" or "tsee-et", distance contact call louder and emphatic "... read more


    Lowland evergreen thickets, riparian forest, forest edge, Cryptosepalum forest and ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small grass seeds, e.g. those of Olyra latifolia; also small insects, including ants (Formicidae). Feeds on ground. Forages in... read more


    Season Jan–May in Zambia and Malawi and Jan–Apr in Zimbabwe. Courting male displays on ground, with or without a feather or... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally rather common, but often local. Perhaps commoner in S of range, e.g. locally abundant in Mozambique (Manica e Sofala). In Zimbabwe, density... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2018). Red-throated Twinspot (Hypargos niveoguttatus). 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 25 March 2018).