Hypargos margaritatus (Pink-throated twinspot)

Rooskeelkolpensie [Afrikaans]; Katjikilili (applied to some of waxbills and twinspots) [Kwangali]; Parelastrild [Dutch]; Sénégali de Verreaux [French]; Perlastrild [German]; Pintadinho-de-peito-rosado [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: Estrildidae

Hypargos margaritatus (Pink-throated twinspot) Hypargos margaritatus (Pink-throated twinspot)
Pink-throated twinspot male, Mkuze Game Reserve, South Africa. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©] Pink-throated twinspot female, Mkuze Game Reserve, South Africa. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©]
Hypargos margaritatus (Pink-throated twinspot)

Three Pink-throated twinspot juveniles (left) and one male (right), Mkuze Game Reserve, South Africa. [photo Lizette Grobbelaar ©]

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to southern Africa, occurring across southern Mozambique to Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal and marginally in Mpumalanga, with an isolated population in northern Limpopo Province. It generally prefers dry, thick scrub, woodland with dense and tangled undergrowth, thickets, palm savanna and edges of forest.

Distribution of Pink-throated waxbill 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 mainly eats seeds of grasses, probably supplemented with insects since it eats them in captivity.


  • Its breeding habits are not well known, since only two nests have been reported in the wild.
  • The nest is an untidy ball with a side entrance, made dry grass or leaf ribs, skeletonised leaves, inflorescences and spider webs, lined with palm fibres and leaf litter. It is typically concealed in dense vegetation and leaf litter, less than one metre above ground.
  • Only one clutch of three eggs has been recorded, laid in January, although it can lay up to four eggs in captivity.
  • In captivity the chicks stay in the nest for 20-21 days.


Not threatened globally, but Near-threatened in South Africa and Swaziland, due to its small distribution range, habitat destruction and the cage-bird trade, as an estimated 2000 birds are though to be exported from Mozambique every year.


  • 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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