Family Drongos (Dicruridae)

Least Concern

Wallacean Drongo (Dicrurus densus)


French: Drongo de la Sonde German: Wallacedrongo Spanish: Drongo de Wallacea

Dicrourus [sic] densus


, 1850,



Formerly considered conspecific with D. hottentottus. Drongos inhabiting Lesser Sundas exhibit substantial morphological and vocal differences#R; more detailed studies, both of molecular genetics and of vocalizations, required. Preliminary analysis suggests that present species may contain 4–6 groups. Vocal analysis indicates considerable differences among races, although some taxa could perhaps be grouped on basis of morphological and vocal traits; recent field guide#R, however, treats every race as a full monotypic species, each being distinct in voice and morphology. Apparently no direct connection between race megalornis of present species and race amboinensis of D. bracteatus, despite extreme proximity of Gorong I (occupied by former) to E tip of Seram, in SE Moluccas (occupied by latter). Supposedly smaller race renschi (Sumbawa) treated as synonym of bimaensis, type locality of which is also Sumbawa. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. d. vicinus Rensch, 1928 – Lombok Drongo – Lombok, in W Lesser Sundas.
  • D. d. bimaensis Wallace, 1864 – Flores Drongo – Sumbawa, Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Solor, Adonara, Lembata, Pantar, Alor and Gunungapi.
  • D. d. sumbae Rensch, 1931 – Sumba Drongo – Sumba.
  • D. d. densus Bonaparte, 1850 – Timor Drongo – Roti, Semau, Timor, Atauro, Wetar and Sermata.
  • D. d. kuehni E. J. O. Hartert, 1901 – Tanimbar Drongo – Tanimbar Is, in extreme E Lesser Sundas.
  • D. d. megalornis G. R. Gray, 1858 – Kai Drongo – Gorong I, Watubela Is and Kai Is, in SE Moluccas.
  • Descriptive notes

    28–38 cm, 30·5 cm and 33 cm (two nominate), 27·6 (three biamensis). Nominate race has general coloration dull blue-black with greenish gloss,... read more


    Poorly known. On Sumba (race sumbae) a song consists of rather short phrases of chopped... read more


    Humid forest and various wooded habitats, from tall primary forest to mangroves and disturbed areas... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insectivorous. Perches under canopy, sallying from horizontal branch to seize insects. Forages singly and in pairs; on Sumba, occasionally... read more


    A few data from Flores: one nest c. 10 m above ground; eggs in Oct–Dec, pinkish-cream with light brown marking, or pure white and... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common, and widespread. Some races confined to one or few islands of Lesser Sundas have restricted range, all of them included in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rocamora, G. & Yeatman-Berthelot, D. (2019). Wallacean Drongo (Dicrurus densus). 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 19 February 2019).