Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Spot-breasted Laughingthrush (Garrulax merulinus)


French: Garrulaxe à poitrine tachetée German: Fleckenhäherling Spanish: Charlatán pechipinto

Garrulax merulinus


, 1851,

Cherrapunji, Khasi Hills, Assam [= Meghalaya], India


Until recently regarded as conspecific with G. annamensis. Proposed race toxostomina (from Manipur, in NE India) considered inseparable from nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. m. merulinus Blyth, 1851 – NE India (SE Arunachal Pradesh S to Meghalaya, Mizoram and Manipur), W & N Myanmar and S China (W Yunnan).
  • G. m. laoensis Meyer de Schauensee, 1938 – NW Thailand.
  • G. m. obscurus Delacour & Jabouille, 1930 – SE Yunnan (China), N Laos and N Vietnam (N Tonkin).
  • Descriptive notes

    25–26 cm. Medium-sized brown laughingthrush with pronounced blackish-brown spots on buffish-white throat and breast. Nominate race has crown and upper­parts,... read more


    Song loud, rich and melodious, a remarkable, prolonged, rambling series of rich musical phrases,... read more


    Understorey shrubbery and edge of broadleaf evergreen forest, bamboo, densely overgrown abandoned... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information on diet. Found singly, in pairs or in family groups. Forages on or near ground; unobtrusive, shy and very skulking.


    Apr–Jul. Nest described as a fairly strong and compact, rather shallow cup, made of moss, roots, grass, leaves and fern fronds, lined... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rather uncommon to scarce. Generally uncommon in India, but locally not uncommon in Assam; rare in Namdapha National Park, in Arunachal Pradesh. Rare... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Spot-breasted Laughingthrush (Garrulax merulinus). 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 24 February 2020).