Phragmacia substriata (Namaqua warbler) 

Namakwalangstertjie [Afrikaans]; Namaqua-prinia [Dutch]; Prinia du Namaqua [French]; Namasänger, Namaprinie [German]; Prínia da Namaqua [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Cisticolidae

Phragmacia substriata (Namaqua warbler) 

Namaqua warbler, Karoo National Park, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Phragmacia substriata (Namaqua warbler) 

Namaqua warbler, Tanqua Karoo National Park, South Africa. [photo Duncan Robertson ©].

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to South Africa and extreme southern Namibia, generally preferring Acacia woodland, reedbeds or honey-thorn (Lycium) thickets adjacent to permanent rivers, streams and drainage lines. It may also be found in overgrown orchards near irrigation canals or gardens .

Distribution of Namaqua warbler in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  


It eats a variety of small invertebrates and fruit, foraging in tangled undergrowth, floating derbis and occasionally on the ground. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Invertebrates
    • Coleoptera (beetles)
      • weevils
      • tortoise beetles (Cassidae)
    • Hymenoptera
      • ants
        • Anoplolepis
        • Monomorium
        • Campanotus
        • Tetramorium
      • wasps
    • insect egg cases
    • Hemiptera (bugs)
  • Fruit and seeds
    • Lycium (honey-thorns)
    • Atriplex semibaccata (alien Creeping saltbrush)


  • The nest is a deep, open cup built of dry grass, shreds of Bulrush (Typha capensis) leaves and roots, lined with soft feathers, fluffy seeds and rootlets. It is typically placed in grass tuft, shrub, bulrush or flood debris on the riverbank, the exterior the nest is often camouflaged with bark, lichen, twigs and dead leaves.
  • Egg-laying season is from August-April.
  • It lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated for about 16 days.
  • Little is known about the chicks, other then that they stay in the nest for roughly 15 days.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 



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