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Spotted Flycatcher (M. striata)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Subfamily: Muscicapinae
Genus: Muscicapa
Brisson, 1760
About 25 species

Muscicapa is a genus of passerine birds belonging to the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae, and therein to the typical flycatchers of subfamily Muscicapinae. They are widespread across Europe, Africa and Asia with most species occurring in forest and woodland habitats. Several species are migratory, moving south from Europe and northern Asia for the winter.[1]

They are small birds, 9 to 15 centimetres in length. They have a large head, short tail and a flattened bill, broader at the base. Their plumage is mostly drab brown or grey and rather plain. Young birds tend to be more spotted or mottled.[1]

Muscicapa flycatchers typically feed on flying insects which are caught by sallying out from an exposed perch. The nest is usually cup-shaped and built on a tree branch but some African species nest in tree holes.[1]


23 to 25 different named species of Muscicapa flycatchers are recognized; one putative undescribed species is also known to exist on Sulawesi (Indonesia):[2]

Fossil record[edit]

Muscicapa miklosi (Late Miocene of Polgardi, Hungary) [4]

Muscicapa petenyii (Pliocene of Beremend, Hungary) [5]


  1. ^ a b c Sinclair et al. (2003), Perrins (2004), del Hoyo et al. (2006)
  2. ^ King et al. (1999), del Hoyo et al. (2006)
  3. ^ [ New Species of Muscicapa Flycatcher from Sulawesi, Indonesia] Published: November 24, 2014 •DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112657
  4. ^ Kessler, E. 2013. Neogene songbirds (Aves, Passeriformes) from Hungary. – Hantkeniana, Budapest, 2013, 8: 37-149.
  5. ^ Kessler, E. 2013. Neogene songbirds (Aves, Passeriformes) from Hungary. – Hantkeniana, Budapest, 2013, 8: 37-149.


  • del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (eds.) (2006): Handbook of Birds of the World (Vol. 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers). Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-96553-06-X (Vol.11: 2006)
  • King, Ben; Rostron, Philip; Luijendijk, Teus; Bouwman, Rob & Quispel, Chris (1999): An undescribed Muscicapa flycatcher on Sulawesi, Indonesia. Forktail 15: 104. PDF fulltext
  • Perrins, Christopher (ed.) (2004): The New Encyclopedia of Birds. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 0-19-852506-0
  • Sinclair, Ian; Ryan, Pete; Christy, Patrice & Hockey, Phil (2003): Birds of Africa: a complete illustrated field guide to the birds of the Sahara. Struik, Cape Town. ISBN 1-86872-857-9