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Bias musicus (Black-and-white flycatcher, Vanga flycatcher) 

WitpensvlieŽvanger [Afrikaans]; Zwartwitte klauwiervliegenvanger [Dutch]; Bias musicien [French]; Vangaschnšpper [German]; Papa-moscas-branco-e-preto [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: Malaconotidae

Bias musicus (Black-and-white flycatcher, Vanga flycatcher)   

Black-and-white flycatcher male. [photo Tom Tarrant ©]


Distribution and habitat

Patchily distributed across sub-Saharan Africa, occurring in the DRC, West African coast, Tanzania and Mozambique. In southern Africa it is uncommon to rare, with populations scattered across central Mozambique, especially in clearings in Lowland forest and edges of Miombo woodland.

Distribution of Black-and-white flycatcher 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).


It mainly eats insects, catching most of its prey while on the wing, either hawking or gleaning them from leaves and branches. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The female does most of the construction work on the nest, which consists of a neat, shallow cup built of thin stems, leaf stalks, rootlets, skeletons and bark, cemented with spider web and decorated with lichen. It is usually placed on a horizontal branch between upright twigs.
  • Egg-laying season is from September-December.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for 18-19 days, alternating in shifts of 10-70 minutes.
  • The chicks are cared for by both parents, leaving the nest after about 18-23 days. They are still fed by the parents for 2 weeks - 3 months, only becoming fully independent a month or two before the next breeding season (sometimes earlier).


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.