Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Silver-rumped Spinetail (Rhaphidura leucopygialis)


French: Martinet leucopyge German: Silberbürzelsegler Spanish: Vencejo culiplata
Other common names: Silver-rumped Spine-tailed Swift, Silver-rumped Needletail

Acanthylis leucopygialis


, 1849,

Penang, West Malaysia




S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) S to Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Bangka I, Borneo and Java.

Descriptive notes

11 cm. Small spinetail with typical wing shape, hooked outer wing, bulging midwing, sharply pinched in at body; protruding head and square tail, appearing rounded when spread... read more


Gives rapid chatter not unlike Apus nipalensis, as well as a high-pitched “tirrr-tirrr”.


Mainly lowlands to 600 m in Sumatra, 1500 m in Java and 1250 m in Malay Peninsula. Occurs over... read more

Food and feeding

Forages around clearings or rock outcrops in forest. Malaysian study noted larger numbers feeding over forested areas and mainly in higher... read more


Little studied. During May–Jun several birds were thought to be nesting in a hollow tree in Borneo, possibly colonially. Aerial... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Nevertheless, considered to be at some risk from habitat fragmentation and selective logging. Locally common in suitable habitat,... read more

Recommended citation

Chantler, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Silver-rumped Spinetail (Rhaphidura leucopygialis). 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 8 April 2020).