Family Fantails (Rhipiduridae)

Least Concern

Spotted Fantail (Rhipidura perlata)


French: Rhipidure perlé German: Perlbrust-Fächerschwanz Spanish: Abanico perlado

Rhipidura perlata

S. Müller

, 1843,



Has been treated as conspecific with R. euryura, and close relationship with R. rufiventris has also been suggested, but little evidence to support either; differs from euryura in its white spots on breast and wing-coverts (3); more white on tail tip (2); more extensive white belly (1); shade darker grey plumage (ns[1]); less white in brow (ns[1]); shorter bill (mean of five males of each species 14.78 mm vs 16.56; at least 1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Extreme S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; 13–17 g. Has small white eyebrow, white malar stripe; otherwise, dark slate above, forehead and rump darker, primaries brown, small white tips on wing-... read more


Melodious song, “chilip-pechilip-chi” (or “whistle while you work”), second phrase rising sharply;... read more


Broadleaf evergreen forest (primary and old secondary forest) with tall trees, less numerous in... read more

Food and feeding

Small insects, particularly flies (Diptera) and lepidopterans; also spiders. Prefers middle and upper storeys, rarely descends to ground.... read more


Nest-building observed in late Mar and May and nest with young in Aug; birds with enlarged gonads in Feb–Jul. Nest a neat cup, up to... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo; very rare in Java. Rare in Taman Negara National Park, in Peninsular Malaysia;... read more

Recommended citation

Boles, W. (2019). Spotted Fantail (Rhipidura perlata). 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 15 February 2019).