Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Silver-eared Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron melanostigma)


French: Garrulaxe de Blyth German: Silberohrhäherling Spanish: Charlatán orejiplateado

G[arrulax]. melanostigma


, 1855,

Mulayit Taung [16°11’ N, 98°32’ E], Lower Myanmar


Until recently, this species and T. chrysopterum, T. peninsulae and sometimes T. ngoclinhense were regarded as conspecific with T. erythrocephalum; those splits were made with prototype version of Tobias criteria, and are re-scored here. Differs from T. erythrocephalum and T. chrysopterum by its lack of dorsal maculation (3); dark primary-coverts (2); more extensive silvery-edged ear-coverts (1); broad, dark-streaked grey supercilium spreading onto neck sides (ns[1]); song with 2–3 notes and longer phrases (at least 3)#R. This arrangement may change, given report of hybrid between race connectens and T. chrysopterum ailaoshanense and fact that birds recorded in NE Myanmar, provisionally placed in T. chrysopterum woodi, might belong with nominate race of present species#R; further research required. Race ramsayi often merged with nominate, but seems sufficiently distinctive to warrant recognition. Racial identity of individuals in extreme S part of W Thailand uncertain; tentatively included in ramsayi. Five subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. m. melanostigma (Blyth, 1855) – SE Myanmar (including NE Tenasserim) and NW & W Thailand (S from Doi Inthanon).
  • T. m. ramsayi Ogilvie-Grant, 1904 – S Myanmar (C Tenasserim) and adjacent S Thailand.
  • T. m. schistaceum (Deignan, 1938) – extreme E Myanmar and NW Thailand (including Doi Chiang Dao and Doi Pha Hom Pok).
  • T. m. subconnectens (Deignan, 1938) – N Thailand (Doi Phu Kha National Park) and NW Laos.
  • T. m. connectens Delacour, 1929 – S China (SE Yunnan), NE & C Laos and NW Vietnam (W Tonkin).
  • Descriptive notes

    26 cm; 67–75 g. Variable dark laughingthrush with silvery-edged ear-coverts. Nominate race has crown and nape chestnut, upperparts plain dark olive-tinged grey-brown,... read more


    Song in NW Thailand loud and quite liquid “wi-wiwioo”, “wu-weeoo” or... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen, pine and mixed broadleaf-pine forests, secondary growth, scrub and grass,... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information on diet; presumably invertebrates and some vegetable matter. Typically encountered when foraging singly, in pairs or in... read more


    Mar–Aug. Nest, built by both sexes, a bulky well-made deep cup, of moss and/or dry leaves, lined with black hair-like fungus, placed... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not assessed. Generally common. Rare in Yunnan, in China. In Thailand, common in Doi Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary and Doi Inthanon and Doi Suthep-Pui National Parks. Common... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Silver-eared Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron melanostigma). 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 February 2020).