Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Sao Tome Prinia (Prinia molleri)


French: Prinia de Sao Tomé German: São-Tomé-Prinie Spanish: Prinia de Santo Tomé

Prinia molleri


, 1887,

São Tomé, Gulf of Guinea


Has plumage affinities with Artisornis and Orthotomus, but song and nest support placement in present genus. Monotypic.


São Tomé, in Gulf of Guinea.

Descriptive notes

13 cm; 8–9 g. A plain prinia with rufous head, long tail strongly graduated. Male has chestnut face, rufous-brown crown merging into grey on nape; upperparts grey,... read more


Highly vocal; song rather variable, a series of monotonously repeated, high-pitched, rather... read more


Occurs in low undergrowth and understorey vegetation in wide range of habitats at all elevations,... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects, including beetles (Coleoptera) and caterpillars (Lepidoptera); also some vegetable matter. Usually in pairs, but often... read more


Nesting in Aug–Mar, mainly Oct–Dec. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. In display, thought to be sexual, two birds... read more


Little known; presumably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Sao Tomé EBA. Abundant within its tiny range. Has probably benefited from human activities on the island; common... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Sao Tome Prinia (Prinia molleri). 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 September 2019).