Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Least Concern

Spotted Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella thoracica)


French: Locustelle de Blyth German: Fleckenschwirl Spanish: Zarzalero moteado
Other common names: Spotted Bush-warbler

D[umeticola]. thoracica


, 1845,



Previously placed in Bradypterus. In past, treated as conspecific with L. davidi and L. kashmirensis (see both). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. t. thoracica (Blyth, 1845) – C & E Himalayas from Nepal, Bhutan and NE India E to N Myanmar, and S China (from SE Xizang and Yunnan E to NC Sichuan, Guizhou, and Dayao Shan region of Guangxi); non-breeding Himalayan foothills from W Nepal E to NE India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam) and NE Bangladesh#R.
  • L. t. przevalskii (Sushkin, 1925) – C China (E Tibetan Plateau of N Qinghai E to SW Gansu and S Shaanxi); non-breeding probably in foothills of C China#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; 9–13·4 g. A fairly small, warm brown bush-warbler with relatively short, round-tipped tail, long brown undertail-coverts with whitish feather... read more


    Song (both races) distinctive and far-carrying, a sequence of mechanical clicks and buzzing sounds... read more


    In breeding season, scrubby thickets and rank herbage by forest clearings and alpine meadows up to... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information on food items, other than insects. Generally solitary. Keeps well hidden, feeding on or near ground, sometimes in open in... read more


    Laying May–Jul, at start of wet season; nest with eggs found as late as 22nd Jul in Nepal (but see Status and conservation). Nest a deep... read more


    Altitudinal or short-distance migrant. Arrives on breeding grounds quite late, towards mid or end... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common, but in Nepal considered “rare” as a breeding species (where all such records may in fact refer to L.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Spotted Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella thoracica). 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 25 May 2019).