Silver-rumped Spinetail

This species is defined as a Review Species. Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page.

Scientific Name: Rhaphidura leucopygialis
Malay Name: Layang-layang Ekor-Pendek Melayu
Chinese Name: 银腰针尾雨燕

Found from the Thai-Malay Peninsula to the Greater Sundas comprising Sumatra, Java and Borneo.


Size: 11 cm

Smaller than the other migratory Needletail species but still look robust with all blackish underparts, dark bluish gloss upperparts, prominent silvery-white lower back, rump and uppertail-coverts, short square-cut tail, very broad paddle-shaped wings and bare shafts (spines) extending from tail-tip. Juvenile has less glossy underparts.

Similar looking species: White-throated Needletail, Silver-backed Needletail, Brown-backed Needletail

Habitat: Broadleaved evergreen forest and clearings.

Behaviour/Ecology: Roosts in large tree hollows in the emergent canopy.

Local Status: Very rare non-breeding visitor

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

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Past accepted records in our database:

BirdLife International. (2016). Rhaphidura leucopygialis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.