Family Frogmouths (Podargidae)

Least Concern

Sri Lanka Frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger)


French: Podarge de Ceylan German: Ceylonfroschmaul Spanish: Podargo de Ceilán
Other common names: Ceylon Frogmouth

Batrachostomus moniliger


, 1849,

Sri Lanka


Specific name sometimes misspelt as monileger. Resembles B. hodgsoni in coloration and pattern, and the two species replace each other geographically, but differences in facial bristles, clutch size, egg size and adult plumage markings imply that they are probably too dissimilar to be regarded as being very closely related. SW Indian population proposed as a geographical race, roonwali#R; further study required. Monotypic.


S India in high-rainfall areas of Western Ghats from Goa#R S to Trivandrum district (Kerala); and Sri Lanka, except in dry N & SE regions.

Descriptive notes

22–23 cm. A small, sexually dichromatic species, with adult coloration and pattern almost constant for each sex; the only frogmouth in its range. Male brownish grey... read more


Does not usually commence to sing until well after dusk. Mainly a soft, rapid series of “... read more


Woodland and evergreen forest; often found in dense vegetation such as bamboo thickets, canebrakes... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. Recorded prey includes grasshoppers, moths and a beetle. Catches insect prey on the ground or on branches.


Season apparently long, in S India chiefly Jan–Apr, occasionally Jun–Sept; in Sri Lanka mainly Feb–Mar, occasionally Aug... read more


Apparently sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Previously considered Near Threatened. Recent surveys suggest that it is local and uncommon in S India, but not endangered, although destruction of... read more

Recommended citation

Holyoak, D.T. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Sri Lanka Frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger). 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 9 April 2020).