Red-winged warbler

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Red-winged warbler
Red-winged Prinia eating a grasshopper - Gambia (32527882031).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cisticolidae
Genus: Heliolais
Sharpe, 1903
Species: H. erythropterus
Binomial name
Heliolais erythropterus
(Jardine, 1849)

The red-winged warbler or the red-winged prinia (Heliolais erythropterus) is a bird species in the family Cisticolidae. It belongs to the monotypic genus Heliolais.[2] It is found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, where its natural habitat is dry savanna.[1]


The red-winged warbler was described by the Scottish naturalist William Jardine in 1849 under the binomial name Drymoica erythroptera. The type locality is West Africa.[3][4] The specific epithet erythropterus comes from the Ancient Greek eruthros for "red" and -pteros, "-winged".[5]

There are four subspecies:[2]

  • H. e. erythropterus (Jardine, 1849) – Senegal to northern Cameroon
  • H. e. jodopterus (Heuglin, 1864) – central Cameroon to southern Sudan and northwestern Uganda
  • H. e. major (Blundell & Lovat, 1899) – Ethiopia
  • H. e. rhodopterus (Shelley, 1880) – Kenya to eastern Zimbabwe and Mozambique

Some taxonomists place this species in the genus Prinia rather than in its own monotypic genus Heliolais.[6][7] Support for this alternative placement is provided by a molecular phylogentic study of the Cisticolidae published in 2013 that found that the red-winged warbler was closely related to the prinias.[8]


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Prinia erythroptera". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Grassbirds, Donacobius, Malagasy warblers, cisticolas & allies". World Bird List Version 7.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  3. ^ Jardine, William (1849). Contributions to Ornithology for 1849. Edinburgh: W.H. Lizars. p. 15.
  4. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Cottrell, G. William, eds. (1986). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 11. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 151.
  5. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  6. ^ Ryan, P.; Dean, R. (2017). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E., eds. "Red-winged Prinia (Prinia erythroptera)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 27 August 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
  7. ^ Lepage, Denis. "Red-winged Warbler". Avibase. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  8. ^ Olsson, U.; Irestedt, M.; Sangster, G.; Ericson, P.G.P.; Alström, P. (2013). "Systematic revision of the avian family Cisticolidae based on a multi-locus phylogeny of all genera". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 66 (3). doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2012.11.004.

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