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Rubeho Akalat - BirdForum Opus

Sheppardia aurantiithorax


14 cm.

  • Dark slate upperparts with coppery wash
  • Tawny-olive forehead to nape, brown tips on feathers of lores and above eyes
  • Brown ear-coverts and malar region with yellow wash
  • Ochraceous throat and upper breast, tawny-olive flanks
  • Cream-buff lower breast and belly, deep orange vent

Sexes similar. Juveniles have long orange spots on cheek, crown and wing-coverts.


Endemic to a small area in central Tanzania (Rubeho Highland, Wota Forest and Ukaguru Mountains.
Fairly common in its small range but ongoing habitat loss is a threat to the species. Described as a new species in 2004.


This is a monotypic species.
Probably closest to Iringa Akalat.


Understorey of montane forest.
Occurs from 1800 to 2200 m.



Feeds presumably on small arthropods. Forages on the ground and on low branches, making short spurts and sallies. Probably also attends driver-ant swarms.


Poorly known. Immature birds captured in June.


Probably some dry-season movements to lower altitudes.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2015)

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