Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)


Rubeho Akalat (Sheppardia aurantiithorax)


French: Rougegorge de Tanzanie German: Rubehorötel Spanish: Akelat de Rubeho

Sheppardia aurantiithorax

Beresford et al.

, 2004,

Mafwemiro Forest, in the Rubeho Mountains of Tanzania


Molecular studies suggest most closely related to S. lowei, from which it is geographically separated by the Great Ruaha River gorge; initially thought to be an isolate of that species. Monotypic.


C Tanzania, in Rubeho Highlands, Wota Forest (Wota Mts) and Ukaguru Mts, also Milawilila Forest (NE of Uluguru Mts)#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 14 cm. Plumage is dark slate above, with coppery wash especially on rump and trailing edge of tail; forehead to nape tawny-olive, feathers of lores and above eyes tipped... read more


Song unknown. Nasal dry rattles, “t-t-t-rrrr” or “trrr-rrr-rrr”, which may be repeated for long... read more


Understorey of montane forest, at 1800–2200 m.

Food and feeding

Presumably small arthropods. Feeds on ground and low branches, making short spurts and sallies. Probably attends driver-ant swarms.


Immature judged to be 2 months old captured in Jun, so eggs probably laid in Mar, at start of “long rains”. No other information available.


One individual trapped at 400 m in foothills of Uluguru Mts in Aug, suggesting that dry-season... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Previously considered not globally threatened. Appears to be fairly common within small range. However, habitat loss and fragmentation is thought to be reducing... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & de Juana, E. (2019). Rubeho Akalat (Sheppardia aurantiithorax). 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 14 December 2019).