Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

White-chested Alethe (Chamaetylas fuelleborni)


French: Cossyphe à poitrine blanche German: Weißbrust-Braunschwanz Spanish: Alete pechiblanco

Alethe fülleborni


, 1900,

Peroto-Ngosi, Tandalla, Tanzania


Varies clinally in size, and considerable individual variation in back colour exists. N populations described as race usambarae, on basis of general absence of scaling on breast, but this character not constant; proposed race xuthura (described from near Dondo, in coastal Mozambique) also regarded as a synonym. Monotypic.


NE Tanzania (S from S Pare Mts and Usambaras) S to extreme NE Zambia (Mafinga Mts, Nyika Plateau) and N Malawi (S to Viphya Plateau), and SC Mozambique (Zambezi mouth S to Sofala and Chiniziua Forest, also Mt Gorongosa)#R.

Descriptive notes

17–20 cm; 42–58 g. Has grey-brown crown, with forehead to eye diffusely grey, lores blackish, ear-coverts blackish-brown; mantle olive-brown, shading to chestnut-... read more


Song in Malawi a series of a standard phrase made up of varied pure and trilled whistles, each c. 1... read more


Tall, mainly montane forest with open understorey, at 1600–2400 m in Malawi, 1800–2100... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates, mainly insects such as beetles, moths, termites, Dorylus army ants, also other ants and their larvae; also... read more


Oct–Jan in Malawi, Oct–Mar in Tanzania and Nov in Zambia and Mozambique. Territory in small forest patches 0·5–4... read more


Mainly sedentary; for 39 ringed individuals in Malawi, maximum distance moved was only 480 m. Some... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common. Density in continuous forest 20 pairs/km² in Malawi. In Tanzania, common in Ulugurus, uncommon in Nguus; 30 pairs (or 90... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). White-chested Alethe (Chamaetylas fuelleborni). 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 February 2020).