Family Batises and Wattle-eyes (Platysteiridae)

Least Concern

West African Batis (Batis occulta)


French: Pririt de Lawson German: Plantagenschnäpper Spanish: Batis oculto

Batis occultus


, 1984,

Grassfield, Mt Nimba, Liberia


Commonly treated as conspecific with B. poensis, but differs in its much narrower breastband in male (2); broader breastband in female (ns[1]); much more grey flecking on upperparts of both sexes (2); narrow white supercilium vs none (or vestigial) in male (2); slightly smaller size, best indicated by smaller bill (on published evidence#R—mean 14.33 mm vs 15.67—for nine males of each taxon; allow 2). Monotypic.


Forests from E Sierra Leone and Liberia E to SW & E Nigeria, Cameroon, SW Central African Republic, Gabon and N Congo.

Descriptive notes

9·5–10·5 cm; 8·7–9·4 g. Adult male has glossy bluish-black forehead, crown, head-sides and neck, white supraloral spot and thin supercilium, white patches on rump and nape,... read more


Two song-types described, both very high-pitched, said to recall a squeaky bicycle pump, and... read more


Occupies degraded parts of evergreen galley forest, lowland and primary montane forest, cacao and... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects and other arthropods, 5–20 mm long; caterpillar of 35 mm recorded, but mostly hard insects, which are bashed against... read more


Eggs in Mar, also male feeding female on nest in Mar, both in Cameroon; nestbuilding in Oct in Nigeria; incubating bird observed in Jan in... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Present (and common) in human-altered primary forest, and even occurs in heavily logged forest and shade farms in Ghana, where... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). West African Batis (Batis occulta). 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 23 February 2020).