Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

White-tailed Ant-thrush (Neocossyphus poensis)


French: Néocossyphe à queue blanche German: Weißschwanz-Fuchsdrossel Spanish: Zorzal de Fernando Póo

Cossypha poensis


, 1844,

Clarence, Bioko


Described races pallidigularis (from N Angola), kakamegoes (Kakamega Forest, in Kenya) and nigridorsalis (N Nandi Forest, in W Kenya) sometimes accepted, but here all considered indistinguishable from praepectoralis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. p. poensis (Strickland, 1844) – SW Guinea and Sierra Leone E to Cameroon, Gabon and S Congo, also Bioko.
  • N. p. praepectoralis F. J. Jackson, 1906 – W DRCongo and NW Angola E to W Uganda, W Kenya and extreme NW Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–22 cm; 43–60 g. Nominate race is dark brownish slate above, with prominent white tips on outer three tail feathers; conspicuous broad orange-rufous wingbar (... read more


    Song, sometimes from 10–15 m up in tree, rich and Turdus-like but subdued and rarely... read more


    Mainly floor and lower understorey of primary lowland forest, especially marshy areas, also old... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly small insects and their larvae, such as ants (Hymenoptera), termites (Isoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), cockroaches (Blattodea) and... read more


    Little information; nest and eggs unknown. Birds in breeding condition in Apr–Jul and juveniles in Sept and Nov in Liberia; breeding-... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to locally common or uncommon. Commonest thrush in forests of SW Ghana. Frequent to common in Gabon, density 6–7 pairs/... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). White-tailed Ant-thrush (Neocossyphus poensis). 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 27 January 2020).