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Cricket longtail

Spiloptila clamans

Photo by Patrick Bergier (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
cricket longtail (en); fuinha-de-cauda-branca (pt); prinia à front écailleux (fr); prinia charlatana (es); schuppenkopfprinie (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Cisticolidae

This species is found along a narrow belt in the Sahel, immediately south of the Sahara desert, from southern Mauritania and northern Senegal, through central Mali, southern Niger, northern Nigeria, central Chad, and into southern Sudan and Eritrea.

These birds are 11-12 cm long and weigh 6-8 g.

The cricket longtail is found in arid and semi-arid savannas and scrublands, mainly Acacia.

The forage on the vegetation and on the ground, mainly taking insects.

Cricket longtails breed in June-April, usually after rainfall. They are probably monogamous and the nest is a domed structure with a small entrance near the top, made of grass, hair and plant down, and lined with finer grass and plant down. It is placed either on a thick tussock of coarse grass or near the base of an Acacia, up to 0,5 m above the ground. The female lays about 4 pale blue eggs with sparse, tiny reddish-brown spots. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as locally common, although uncommon in some areas. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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