Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)


Thyolo Alethe (Chamaetylas choloensis)


French: Cossyphe du Cholo German: Thyolobraunschwanz Spanish: Alete de Cholo
Other common names: Cholo Alethe

Alethe choloensis

W. L. Sclater

, 1927,

Thyolo (Cholo) Mt, south Malawi


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. choloensis (W. L. Sclater, 1927) – S & SE Malawi and adjacent Mozambique (Mt Chiperone).
  • C. c. namuli (Vincent, 1933) – Mt Namuli, Mt Mabu#R and (presumably this race) Mt Inago#R, in NC Mozambique.
  • Descriptive notes

    17–19 cm; 41 g. Nominate race resembles C. fuelleborni, but head plainer and browner, white chin and throat clearly demarcated from buff-washed grey mid-breast... read more


    Song a series of phrases of 3–4 notes lasting 2–2·5 seconds, “tyerr... read more


    Mid-elevation evergreen forest, often near edges, in areas of dense undergrowth to fairly open... read more

    Food and feeding

    Only insects recorded, including army ants, beetles and larvae. Forages on ground amid leaf litter, and gleans prey from trunks and leaves... read more


    Sept, Nov and Jan in Malawi; Sept, and juvenile in Dec, in Mozambique. Only nest found was a cup of green moss lined with dry tendrils, 4 m... read more


    Mainly sedentary; some altitudinal movement in Malawi, where suggested to descend to 700 m on Mt... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Previously considered Endangered. Restricted-range species: present in Tanzania-Malawi Mountains EBA. Global population placed at 2500–5000 mature... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2019). Thyolo Alethe (Chamaetylas choloensis). 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 6 December 2019).