Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-breasted Apalis (Apalis flavida)


French: Apalis à gorge jaune German: Gelbbrust-Feinsänger Spanish: Apalis pechigualdo

Drymoeca flavida


, 1853,

Damaraland; error = Ngamiland, Botswana


Usually includes Apalis flavocincta, which is ecologically segregated from adjacent pugnax and abyssinica; similar segregation in Tanzania between coastal neglecta and golzi of the more arid interior, but latter intergrades with pugnax in N Tanzania and S Kenya. Other proposed races are renata (S Mozambique), lucidigula (E Northern Province, in N South Africa) and niassae (extreme E Angola E to SW Tanzania), all merged with neglecta, and canora (Sumbu, N Zambia), synonymized with tenerrima#R. Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. f. caniceps (Cassin, 1859) – Senegambia E to W Kenya and S to N Angola (Cabinda).
  • A. f. abyssinica Érard, 1974 – SW Ethiopian highlands.
  • A. f. pugnax Lawson, 1968 – Kenyan highlands (where annual rainfall more than 500 mm).
  • A. f. golzi (G. A. Fischer & Reichenow, 1884) – SE Kenya (Taita Hills) and interior Tanzania.
  • A. f. neglecta (Alexander, 1899) – E Angola E to coastal Tanzania (including Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia I) and SE Kenya, S to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and N South Africa.
  • A. f. flavida (Strickland, 1853) – W & S Angola, N Namibia, N Botswana, SW Zambia and NW Zimbabwe.
  • A. f. florisuga (Reichenow, 1898) – SE South Africa (C KwaZulu-Natal S to R Gamtoos).
  • A. f. tenerrima Grote, 1935 – E & S Tanzania to N Zambia.
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5–13 cm; male 6·8–9·5 g, female 5–9 g. A fairly small, slender, rather long-tailed apalis of woodland and savannas; has reddish eyes... read more


    Male call a metallic, grating “krrik” or “kri-krrik” or less harsh “... read more


    Wide range of habitats, from evergreen forest edge and mangroves, through variety of woodland types... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly small invertebrates, including flies (Diptera), flower beetles, weevils and cetoniid beetles (Coleoptera), grasshopper nymphs (... read more


    Nesting mainly during rains, Apr–Aug N of equator and mainly Oct–Feb in S, but breeds Mar, May and Sept in Malawi; some pairs... read more


    Presumably mostly resident; some post-breeding movements to lower elevations suspected in parts of... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common. Occurs at densities of 1·8–2·1 birds/ha in riverine woodland, 0·12–0·4 in acacia... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Yellow-breasted Apalis (Apalis flavida). 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).