Family Tetrakas (Bernieridae)

Least Concern

Spectacled Tetraka (Xanthomixis zosterops)


French: Farifotra zostérops German: Kurzschnabel-Madagaskarsänger Spanish: Tetraka piquicorto
Other common names: Short-billed Tetraka

Bernieria zosterops


, 1875,



Based on plumage pattern, previously thought probably most closely related to little-known Crossleyia tenebrosa. Proposed races andapae (Andapa), maroantsetrae (Maroantsetra) and ankafanae (Ankafana Forest, in Fianarantsoa) poorly differentiated, and treated as synonyms of nominate; a genetic study recovered four long-diverged allopatric clades within this species, which are presently re-merging: one broadly corresponds to andapae and fulvescens (also maroantsetrae); the second covers part or all of the ranges of andapae, ankafanae and the nominate; the third also equates to the nominate; and the fourth again comprises ankafanae and the nominate#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. z. fulvescens (Delacour, 1931) – Montagne d’Ambre, in N Madagascar.
  • X. z. zosterops (Sharpe, 1875) – E & SW Madagascar (Manongarivo and Tsaratanana Massifs S to Tolagnaro, also isolated population at Analavelona).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–16·5 cm; male 16–20·5g, female 13·5–22·5 g. A small species with distinctive face pattern, lower mandible slightly inflated centrally and thus appearing... read more


    Quite loud, high-pitched seeping and twittering noises, resembling those of congeners but unlike... read more


    Primary evergreen forest from sea-level to 1500 m, but much less common at higher altitudes;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, including beetles (Coleoptera), termites (Isoptera), earwigs (Dermaptera), bugs (Hemiptera), ants (Hymenoptera), orthopterans... read more


    Nesting recorded in Sept–Dec. Nest cup-shaped, made of moss, plant stems, dead leaves and other vegetation, typically 0·5... read more


    No information; presumed sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common throughout its range. Mean densities of 17·5 birds/ha recorded in Montagne d’Ambre and of 552–706... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Spectacled Tetraka (Xanthomixis zosterops). 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 23 March 2019).