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Black-faced Firefinch

From Opus

Photo © by Kwame BrownMole NP, Ghana, May 2018
Photo © by Kwame Brown
Mole NP, Ghana, May 2018

Alternative name: Black-throated Firefinch

Lagonosticta larvata

Includes Vinaceous Firefinch


[edit] Identification

FemalePhoto © by volker sthamerGambella, Ethiopia, March 2012
Photo © by volker sthamer
Gambella, Ethiopia, March 2012

Length 10-12 cm (4-4¾ in)
The male is distinguished from other firefinches by its black face.
The female is the only pale-vented firefinch with a dark bill (other than juvenile Red-billed and Bar-breasted Firefinches). Breast colour varies geographically (see subspecies).

[edit] Distribution

Africa between 15°N and the equator.
Western Africa: Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Lagonosticta larvata has three or four subspecies:1

  • L. l. vinacea
  • Senegal to Guinea and western Mali
  • Breast mauve-pink
  • Regarded as a separate species (called Vinaceous or Black-faced Firefinch) by some authors2
  • L. l. nigricollis
  • L. l. larvata

[edit] Habitat

Ranges from dry thicket to grassland and bamboo.

[edit] Behaviour

Thinly distributed. Usually found in pairs or small groups; often with waxbills.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Gill F & Wright M. 2008. Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, USA. 2006. ISBN 9780691128276 Update (2008) downloaded from
  3. Sinclair I & Ryan P. 2003. Birds of Africa south of the Sahara. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0620207299
  4. Avibase

[edit] External Links


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