Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Least Concern

Spotted Illadopsis (Illadopsis turdina)


French: Akalat à dos roux German: Grauzügel-Laubdrossling Spanish: Tordina moteada
Other common names: Thrush-babbler, Spotted Thrush-babbler

Ptyrticus turdinus


, 1883,

Tomaya (4°38’ N, 29°50’ E), South Sudan


Formerly treated in monospecific Ptyrticus, but removed to Illadopsis based on genetic data#R. Observations in Bakossi Mts, W Cameroon, believed to involve a new taxon in this complex#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. t. harterti (Grote, 1921) – NC & E Cameroon.
  • I. t. turdina (Hartlaub, 1883) – extreme S South Sudan, NE DRCongo; one record (probably this race) from E Central African Republic.
  • I. t. upembae (Verheyen, 1951) – SE DRCongo, NE Angola (R Luachimo near Dundo#R and Carumbo area#R) and NW Zambia.
  • Descriptive notes

    16·5 cm; 59–73 g. Resembles large illadopsis but song and underparts very different; rather long, straight and slightly hooked bill, powerful legs. Nominate race... read more


    Song, mainly at dawn and dusk, loud and melodious, like that of an oriole (Oriolus),... read more


    Dense bush and grass thickets along edge of forest streams, undergrowth in gallery forest, moist... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates, including beetles (Coleoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), caterpillars, cicadas (Cicadidae), small ants (Formicidae),... read more


    By inference, Jun–Nov in NE and Oct–Dec in S in DR Congo; birds in breeding condition in Feb in Angola; young juvenile in Oct... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common in Cameroon, Central African Republic and Sudan; present in Upemba National Park, in DRCongo; uncommon in Angola.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2018). Spotted Illadopsis (Illadopsis turdina). 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 21 July 2018).