Family Fairy-wrens (Maluridae)

Near Threatened

Short-tailed Grasswren (Amytornis merrotsyi)


French: Amytis de Merrotsy German: Kurzschwanz-Grasschlüpfer Spanish: Maluro colicorto

Amytornis merrotsyi


, 1913,

Yudnamutana, northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia


Detailed study#R places this species in its own subgenus Cryptamytis. Until recently considered conspecific with A. striatus, but falls outside range of intraspecific variation found in that species, and they may be sympatric in Gawler Ranges; separation at species level further supported by DNA evidence. Race pedleri recently described, based on small but consistent differences in morphology and plumage, backed up by DNA#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. m. pedleri Christidis et al., 2008 – SC South Australia (Gawler Ranges).
  • A. m. merrotsyi Mellor, 1913 – EC South Australia (Flinders Ranges).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm; 23 g. Medium-sized grasswren with comparatively short tail. Male is dark rufous with black-and-white streaking above, indistinct dull rufous-brown anterior... read more


    Few details; said to differ from A. striatus. Contact call a high-pitched “see... read more


    Triodia hummock grass on stony hillsides, ridges, rocky gulleys and gorges, usually with... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information; probably as for A. striatus. Occurs singly or in small groups.


    Few confirmed data. Probably as for A. striatus.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common. Has patchy distribution within small range; subpopulations could be extirpated by fire if latter too frequent. Conservation... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rowley, I. & Russell, E. (2018). Short-tailed Grasswren (Amytornis merrotsyi). 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 16 October 2018).