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Eremomela icteropygialis (Yellow-bellied eremomela) 

Geelpensbossanger [Afrikaans]; Niini (generic term for warblers and eremomelas) [Kwangali]; Timba (generic name for cisticolas and warblers) [Shona]; Geelbuik-eremomela [Dutch]; Érémomèle à croupion jaune [French]; Gelbbauch-eremomela [German]; Eremomela-de-barriga-amarela [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: Sylviidae > Genus: Eromomela

Eremomela icteropygialis (Yellow-bellied eremomela) Eremomela icteropygialis (Yellow-bellied eremomela)
Yellow-bellied eremomela, Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve, Robertson, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©] Yellow-bellied eremomela, Uis, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

It has two main populations in Africa; one stretches across the Sahel from Mauritania to Sudan. The other occurs from Ethiopia through Tanzania and Zambia to southern Africa. Here it is fairly common in the shrublands of the Kalahari and the Karoo, also occupying savanna woodland (especially Acacia) and gardens.

Distribution of Yellow-bellied eremomela 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.  

Brood parasites

It has been recorded as host of the Klaas's cuckoo.


It mainly eats insects, supplemented with fruit, seeds and nectar. It typically forages in the foliage of bushes and saplings, gleaning food from leaves and twigs and sometimes joining mixed species foraging flocks. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest is a tidy, thin-walled cup built of stringy plant fibres and dry grass and secured with spider's web and plant down. It is typically placed between lengthwise twigs on the edge of a bushes or sapling's foliage.
  • Egg-laying season is from about August-January, peaking from September-November.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated for 13-14 days, probably by both sexes.
  • The chicks are fed by both adults, leaving the nest after about 15-16 days, remaining under their parents for about 2 more weeks, sometimes more.


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. 

  • Harrison, J.A., Allan, D.G., Underhill, L.G., Herremans, M., Tree. A.J., Parker, V. & Brown, C.J. (eds). 1997. The atlas of southern African birds. Vol. 2: Passerines. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.