Peters twinspot

Hypargos niveoguttatus

SUBFAMILY

Estrildinae

TAXONOMY

Spermophaga niveoguttata Peters, 1868. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Red-throated twinspot, Peters' spotted firefinch; French: Sénégali enflammé; German: Tropfenastrild; Spanish: Pinzón Dos Puntos de Peter.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm). Sexually dimorphic; females lack the male's bright red face and breast. Juveniles similar to females but lack white spots on flanks and underparts.

DISTRIBUTION

Southern Somalia, south to northeastern South Africa, west to east-central Angola.

HABITAT

Found in grass or the undergrowth of habitats including grassland, evergreen thicket, forest edges, and other brushy cover often near water.

BEHAVIOR

Usually found in pairs or small groups. This species is quiet and shy, but may give a "tseet" note. Its song is an insect-like trill.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feeds on the ground, usually near cover, on a variety of seeds. A small part of the diet consists of insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The spherical nest, usually composed of grass and other plant fibers, is built on the ground or low in a shrub. Three to six white eggs are incubated for 12-13 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

This species often becomes tolerant of humans and can frequently be found near human settlements. The ease by which they become adapted to human contact makes them likely aviary subjects. ♦

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