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Cisticola Information PageIndex of Cisticola SpeciesPhotos of the Different Cisticola Species for Identification


The Madagascar Cisticola (Cisticola cherina) forms a *superspecies with the closely related Zitting Cisticola and the Socotra Cisticola. (*Superspecies are closely related species with non- overlapping distributions; they are thought to have evolved from the same species).


Distribution / Range

It occurs on the island of Madagascar as well as the islands of Astove and Cosmoledo in the Seychelles. Those found on the Seychelles are suspected to be recent arrivals; this being said some early records of this species exist there.

It lives in open habitats, including savannah, grasslands, marshes, pastures, scrublands and forest edges and clearings; but has also accepted well to various human modified habitats, including paddy fields and croplands.

The species is sedentary (non-migratory).



Madagascar Cisticolas are small cisticolas, measuring 11 cm in length and weighing about 8 -11 g. The plumage is mostly brownish streaked on the back, wings and head; and the plumage below is pale.

A couple of color variants exist – one is more brownish and the other is a paler grey.


Calls / Vocalizations

Its call is described as a loud explosive ticking.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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