White-spotted fantail

   ›      ›   White-spotted fantail - Rhipidura albogularis

The white-spotted fantail (Rhipidura albogularis) belongs to the family of fantails and silktails, the Rhipiduridae.

The white-spotted fantail species is endemic to central and southern India. These fantail species were formerly considered a subspecies of the white-throated fantail. These species are polytypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of White-spotted Fantail Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The white-spotted fantail (Rhipidura albogularis) is a small sized fantail, measuring 14 to 17 cm in length and weighing 10 to 14 grams.

The white-spotted fantail species has slaty brown upperparts. The wings are slaty gray. The crown is dark gray. There is a whitish supercilium. There is a black eye mask. The throat is whitish.

The underparts are whitish. The gray breast is spotted white. The tail is long, slaty, with very pale edges to the tail feathers. The undertail is pale.

The bill is black. The irises are black. There is a dark gray eye-ring. The legs are dark gray. The call of these spotted fantail species is a pleasant, repeated, musical sound.
Indian birds - Image of White-spotted fantail - Rhipidura albogularis
1.Birds of India - Photo of White-spotted fantail - Rhipidura albogularis by Koshy Koshy

Birds of India - Photo of White-spotted fantail - Rhipidura albogularis
2.Indian birds - Photo of White-spotted fantail - Rhipidura albogularis by Antony Grossy

Indian birds - Photo of White-spotted fantail - Rhipidura albogularis
3.Birds of India - Photo of White-spotted fantail - Rhipidura albogularis by Antony Grossy

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These white-spotted fantail species are endemic to India.

The subspecies R. a. albogularis is distributed in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The subspecies R. a. vernayi is distributed in south Odisha and northeast Andhra Pradesh.

Ecosystem and habitat

These white-spotted fantail species have medium forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 2000 meters. The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species include rural gardens, plantations, agricultural lands, parks and urban areas.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these species include tropical and subtropical moist montane forests, foothill forests, tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, dry forests, scrub jungles and secondary forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these white-spotted fantail species consists mainly of insects. Flying insects, dragonflies, moths, beetles, winged termites and ants, grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, locust and insect larvae are their primary food.

These fantail species glean their prey from foliage as well as flycatch. They forage in undergrowth, lower and middle storeys. Occasionally they are seen flycatching in the canopy.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these white-spotted fantail species is from March and July. Occasionally they may raise a second brood.

These fantail species are monogamous and territorial. The nesting sites are located on tree branches. The nest is a compact conical structure. Both the fantail parents take part in nest building.

The nest is built with grass, twigs, reeds, moss, leaves, and plant fibers. The clutch contains three eggs. The eggs are incubated by both the parents. The hatchlings are care for by both the parents.

Migration and movement patterns

These white-spotted fantail species are non-migratory resident birds. The populations in higher altitudes descent to lower levels during winter.

Post breeding, juvenile fantails may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. Within their range they may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

White-spotted fantail - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Rhipidura albogularis
  • Species author: (Lesson, 1831)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Musicapa (Muscylva) albogularis Lesson, 1832
  • Family: Rhipiduridae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: White-spotted fantail, Chinese: 白点扇尾鹟, French: Rhipidure à poitrine, tachetée German: Indienfächerschwanz, Spanish: Abanico pechipinto, Russian: Белогорлая веерохвостка, Japanese: ムナボシオウギビタキ
  • Other names: spot-breasted fantail, White-spotted Fantail
  • Distribution: endemic to India
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects, flying insects
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the white-spotted fantail (Rhipidura albogularis) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

In most of its range, this species is reported to be common. The generation length is 4.9 years. Its distribution size is about 1,920,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration and destruction, agricultural expansion, reduction in prey population are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these fantail species.

IUCN and CITES status

The white-spotted fantail (Rhipidura albogularis) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the fantail species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the white-spotted fantail (Rhipidura albogularis).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Rhipidura albogularis
Species:R. albogularis
Binomial name:Rhipidura albogularis
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The white-spotted fantail (Rhipidura albogularis) is closely related to Rhipidura albicollis. The Rhipidura albogularis was considered conspecific with R. albicollis.

The two recognized subspecies of the white-spotted fantail (Rhipidura albogularis) are: Rhipidura albogularis albogularis (Lesson, 1832) and Rhipidura albogularis vernayi (Whistler, 1931).
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1.White-spotted fantail photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kkoshy/16551227560/ (cropped)
Photo author: Koshy Koshy | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 4/23/18
2.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/atony/6965322672/ (cropped)
Photo author: Antony Grossy | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 4/23/18
3.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/atony/8029531937/ (cropped)
Photo author: Antony Grossy | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 4/23/18
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