Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris)


French: Prinia à ventre jaune German: Gelbbauchprinie Spanish: Prinia ventriamarilla

Orthotomus flaviventris


, 1840,



Hitherto considered conspecific with P. sonitans (which see). Races sindiana and latrunculus fairly distinctive, and merit further study; former has a notably short bill, long tail and more tinkling timbre to song, but cline in morphometrics may be present across Himalayan range; latter is more like P. sonitans in appearance (for differences see that species), with buff-tinged whitish vs bright yellow belly to vent (3) and browner upperparts (1), but morphometrics similar to race rafflesi and song appears to differ only subtly, with a well-spaced fairly stressed vs unstressed undetached first note in rafflesi (score 1)#R. Six subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. f. sindiana Ticehurst, 1920 – Sind Prinia – Pakistan (R Indus drainage E from Bannu, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and S to Sind) and adjacent NW India (Punjab, Delhi and Haryana).
  • P. f. flaviventris (Delessert, 1840) – Yellow-bellied Prinia – patchily through terai of N Indian Subcontinent from N India (Uttarakhand) E to Arunachal Pradesh and W & N Myanmar.
  • P. f. delacouri Deignan, 1942 – E & S Myanmar, S China (S Yunnan), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
  • P. f. rafflesi Tweeddale, 1877 – Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and W & C Java.
  • P. f. halistona (Oberholser, 1912) – Nias I, off W Sumatra.
  • P. f. latrunculus (Finsch, 1905) – Bornean Prinia – Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; 6–11·9 g. An attractive, fairly distinctive prinia with long graduated tail. Nominate race in non-breeding plumage has crown, nape and sides of... read more


    Song, from top of bush or tall reed, or in air, a short, rapid burst of varied, somewhat descending... read more


    Tall grasses and reedbeds (Phragmites and Typha), especially in riverine... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food chiefly insects and their larvae, mostly small flies (Diptera), grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), ants (Hymenoptera), small... read more


    Season Apr–Oct, mostly in Jun–Sept monsoon, in N India and Pakistan; Jan–Sept in SE Asia (e.g. Peninsular Malaysia), and... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common over much of its extensive range. Distribution dictated by availability of grassland habitat; has no doubt been... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris). 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).