Cisticolas and Allies (Cisticolidae)

African Tailorbird (Artisornis metopias) - HBW 11, p. 487

French: Couturière d’Afrique German: Rotkappensänger Spanish: Sastrecillo Africano
Other common names: Red-capped Forest-warbler

Taxonomy: Prinia metopias Reichenow, 1907, Usambara Mountains, north-east Tanzania.
Often placed in genus Orthotomus, but has ten (not twelve) rectrices, and genetic evidence suggests that it is quite distinct. Geographical variation slight; race pallidus often treated as synonymous with nominate. Population on Nguru Mts (NE Tanzania) tentatively included in nominate race, but large genetic differences exist between latter’s main population (on Usambara Mts) and remaining Tanzanian populations. Form described as race bensoni of present species is a synonym of Apalis chapini strausae. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • metopias (Reichenow, 1907) - Usambara Mts and Nguru Mts, in NE Tanzania.
  • altus (Friedmann, 1927) - Uluguru Mts, in E Tanzania.
  • pallidus Ripley & Heinrich, 1966 - mountains of SC Tanzania and N Mozambique (Njesi Plateau).

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