Cichladusa arquata (Collared palm-thrush) 

Palmmôrelyster [Afrikaans]; Zambesi-palmlijster [Dutch]; Cichladuse à collier [French]; Morgenrötel [German]; Tordo-das-palmeiras-de-colar [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: Muscicapidae > Genus: Cichladusa

Cichladusa arquata (Collared palm-thrush)  Cichladusa arquata (Collared palm-thrush) 

Collared palm-thrush, Liwonde National Park, Malawi. [photo Willem Frost / ©]

Collared palm-thrush, Tanzania. [photo Justin Stahl ©]

Distribution and habitat

Occurs from southern Kenya, Tanzania and southern DRC through Malawi and Zambia to southern Africa. Here it occurs in central Mozambique and in patches along the border of Zimbabwe, generally preferring thickets with palm trees (such as Pheonix, Borassus and Hyphaene) near water. It may also occupy gardens and mixed bushwillow (Combretum) and Mopane (Colosphermum mopane) woodland around human settlements.

Distribution of Collared palm-thrush 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 insects supplemented with amphibians, doing most of its foraging in leaf litter, occasionally gleaning food from foliage. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Invertebrates
  • Amphibians


  • The nest is either a semi-circular or truncated cone-shaped structure, built of mud and grass roots and lined with finer grass or fibres stripped from palm leaves. Both sexes construct it, carrying material along the same route, repeatedly calling from perches along the way. It is typically attached to a hanging palm leaf, or at the point where the palm frond connects to the trunk; it may also be placed in the leafy foliage of a dragon-tree (Dracaena), under the eaves of a building or even in a working air-conditioning unit.
  • Egg-laying season is from October-March.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by both adults for about 13 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents on a diet of invertebrates. such as caterpillars and grasshoppers, leaving the nest at 20 days old (in one observation).


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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