Family Fairy-wrens (Maluridae)

Least Concern

Striated Grasswren (Amytornis striatus)


French: Amytis strié German: Streifengrasschlüpfer Spanish: Maluro estriado

Dasyornis striatus


, 1840,

Liverpool Plains (possibly on lower Namoi River), New South Wales, Australia


See A. woodwardi and A. merrotsyi. In HBW race oweni considered to fall within range of variation of nominate, but here recognized (“small and rufous but with a white belly”#R). In recent study, races oweni, whitei and rowleyi all separated as species chiefly on molecular distances#R, but this arrangement is weakly supported by morphological and ecological evidence: thus, species rank for oweni is based on genetic distance, minor plumage differences, biogeography and habitat (sandhill vegetation)#R; for whitei (unsampled genetically) on habitat (rocky-outcrop vegetation) and relatively strong morphological characters (“large and rufous” vs “large and grey-brown” of nominate)#R; for rowleyi on genetic distance, geographical isolation and morphology#R, namely shorter tail (but sample size very small, with overlap apparent), slightly paler upperparts and underparts and (possibly) other very minor characters#R. Fuller gathering and presentation of all lines of evidence recommended in order to allow rigorous assessment of these taxa. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. whitei Mathews, 1910 – Pilbara Grasswren – Pilbara region of W Western Australia.
  • A. s. oweni Mathews, 1911 – Sandhill Grasswren – from C Western Australia E to C & S Northern Territory and NW & S South Australia.
  • A. s. striatus (Gould, 1840) – Striated Grasswren – SE South Australia and NW Victoria, and inland New South Wales (including Namoi R).
  • A. s. rowleyi Schodde & Mason, 1999 – Rusty Grasswren – C uplands of Cooper–Diamantina Basin, in C Queensland.
  • Descriptive notes

    14·5–19 cm; 15–23 g. Medium-sized grasswren with relatively slender bill, long tail. Male nominate race has white lores, rufous anterior eyebrow; crown and... read more


    Song a staccato “tew, tew, tew” followed by melodic liquid ripple of trills and buzzes... read more


    Triodia associations, with or without overstorey of shrubs or mallees (Eucalyptus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insectivorous and granivorous; food mostly beetles (Coleoptera), ants (Formicidae), and seeds of Triodia. Forages mostly on ground... read more


    Aug–Jan, and also in other months in response to rainfall; in captivity (with abundant food), bred Feb–May, Aug and Nov, female... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to uncommon. Nominate race has declined in SE of range, where suitable habitat has been greatly reduced by clearance, which still... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rowley, I., Russell, E. & de Juana, E. (2019). Striated Grasswren (Amytornis striatus). 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).