Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Rüppell's Chat (Myrmecocichla melaena)


French: Traquet de Rüppell German: Einfarbschmätzer Spanish: Zorzal hormiguero de Rüppell
Other common names: Rüppell's Black-chat

Saxicola melaena


, 1837,

Alegua Mountain, Agame Province, Ethiopia




S Eritrea and N & C Ethiopia.

Descriptive notes

20 cm. Plumage is entirely black, except for white bases of inner webs of primaries on both surfaces (prominent patch in flight); bill and legs black. Sexes similar. Juvenile... read more


Song a soft warbling or series of high chirping notes, given repeatedly. Call a short piercing... read more


Cliffs, ravines, gorges and wet rocks, above 1800 m; prefers upper areas near waterfalls but... read more

Food and feeding

Insect food seen brought to nestlings. No other information.


Nest-building Jun, reportedly also Dec, in Eritrea; building in May–Jun and newly fledged young Aug in N Ethiopia. Nest placed in... read more


Apparently sedentary, although some altitudinal movements possible.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Central Ethiopian Highlands EBA. Uncommon to locally frequent; no evidence of decline or threat. Habitat... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Rüppell's Chat (Myrmecocichla melaena). 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 January 2020).