Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Near Threatened

White-tailed Warbler (Poliolais lopezi)


French: Poliolaïs à queue blanche German: Weißschwanzsänger Spanish: Camaróptera coliblanca

Apalis lopezi


, 1903,

Bakake, Bioko


Races form three monotypic groups based largely on differences in plumages of males (those of females are generally very similar). Original spelling “lopezi” was emended by the describer himself later in same year to “lopesi”, as intended to honour the original collector, but this is an unjustified emendation, unsupported by any internal evidence. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. l. manengubae Serle, 1949 – Highland White-tailed Warbler – highlands of SE Nigeria and SW Cameroon (except Mt Cameroon).
  • P. l. alexanderi Bannerman, 1915 – Mount Cameroon White-tailed Warbler – Mt Cameroon, in SW Cameroon.
  • P. l. lopezi (Alexander, 1903) – Bioko White-tailed Warbler – Bioko.
  • Descriptive notes

    10 cm; 11–14 g. A tiny forest warbler with fine, longish bill and short and square, white-sided tail with ten feathers. Male nominate race has crown and side of head,... read more


    Song a regular series of thin, clear high-pitched notes (c. 1 per second), “hweet-hweet-hweet... read more


    Dense, moist understorey of intermediate and montane forest, including forest edge and clearings.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects. Forages in pairs or small groups, usually close to ground; moves restlessly within dense vegetation, searching leaves... read more


    Breeds Oct–Feb, at end of rains and into dry season, in Cameroon; Nov–Jan on Bioko. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial... read more


    Little known; presumably mostly resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Cameroon Mountains EBA. Confined to higher-altitude forests within a very... read more

    Recommended citation

    Pearson, D. (2019). White-tailed Warbler (Poliolais lopezi). 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 17 September 2019).