Family Fantails (Rhipiduridae)

Least Concern

Vanuatu Streaked Fantail (Rhipidura spilodera)


French: Rhipidure tacheté German: Vanuatu-Fleckenfächerschwanz Spanish: Abanico moteado de las Vanuatu

Rhipidura spilodera

G. R. Gray

, 1870,

Vanua Lava, Banks Islands


Hitherto treated as conspecific with R. verreauxi, R. layardi and R. rufilateralis, but differs from first in its lack of wingbars (2); buffy-whitish vs smoky-ochreish belly and vent (2); less densely patterned breast with untidier line separating it from white throat (2); longer and broader-looking bill and longer wing (effect size for male bill 3.11, score 2), although tail generally shorter (ns); and faster song, with more but shorter notes (2+2=4). Differs from R. layardi in faster song (4) and in characters shared with R. verreauxi, namely blade-shaped scalloping vs long streaks on breast (2); pattern on undertail vague (shading mid-brown to whitish edges and tips) vs darker, more extensive brown with sharply defined white tips (3); and fuller and longer white lores and supercilium (2); plus much less rufous upperparts than R. l. erythronota (ns). See also R. rufilateralis. Monotypic.


Banks Is and N & C Vanuatu (S to Éfaté).

Descriptive notes

17 cm; 10·6–14 g. Adult has greyish head, white supercilium, short white line behind orbit; upperparts, including wings, brown to olive-brown; tail dark greyish brown, outer... read more


Song is a variable tinkling series of c. 15–30 short staccato high-pitched notes moving randomly up... read more


Forest and forest edge, also thickets; may enter gardens; generally avoids open areas, preferring... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Forages mostly in substage or lower canopy, to lesser extent in undergrowth, occasionally on ground or in upper zone. Searches... read more


Normally Oct–Jan, some nests Jun, possibly two broods in a season. Nest a neat cup of fine plant material lined with coarser material,... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Vanuatu and Temotu EBA. This taxon has a small breeding range of 55,000–56,000 km². Although its... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Vanuatu Streaked Fantail (Rhipidura spilodera). 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 December 2019).