Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Scaly Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron subunicolor)


French: Garrulaxe modeste German: Goldschuppenhäherling Spanish: Charlatán modesto

Tr[ochalopteron]. subunicolor


, 1843,



Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. s. subunicolor Blyth, 1843 – C Nepal E to Bhutan, NE India (Arunachal Pradesh) and adjacent S China (S & SE Xizang).
  • T. s. griseatum (Rothschild, 1921) – N & NE Myanmar and S China (W Yunnan).
  • T. s. fooksi (Delacour & Jabouille, 1930) – SE Yunnan (S China) and extreme N Vietnam (N part of W Tonkin).
  • Descriptive notes

    23–25·5 cm; 50–76 g. Medium-sized short-billed dull laughingthrush with heavy dark scaling, yellowish wingpanel. Nominate race has lores sooty, head olive-... read more


    Sings with repeated, rather shrill high whistled “whiu-whiiiu” and “whi’ii’i, whi’ii’i”; songs... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest with thick undergrowth, secondary growth, bramble (Rubus)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera) and grasshoppers (Orthoptera), also centipedes (Chilopoda), snails; also berries, including of... read more


    Apr–Aug. Nest a cup made of grasses and moss, lined with soft bamboo leaves, placed 60–90 cm above ground in bush or sapling.... read more


    Resident. In Bhutan clear elevational movements reported, highest breeding elevations vacated... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Local and frequent in C Himalayas in Nepal, becoming fairly common in E; fairly common in Langtang National Park. Scarce in Bhutan, with relatively... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2018). Scaly Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron subunicolor). 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 22 March 2018).