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Mirafra apiata (Cape clapper lark)

Kaapse klappertjie [Afrikaans]; íMote, Semote [South Sotho]; Sebotha (generic term for lark) [Tswana]; Klapperleeuwerik [Dutch]; Alouette bateleuse [French]; Grasklapperlerche [German]; Cotovia-batedora [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: Alaudidae > Genus: Mirafra

Mirafra apiata (Cape clapper lark) Mirafra apiata (Cape clapper lark)
Cape clapper lark, Silverstroomstrand, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©] Cape clapper lark, Swellendam, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to South Africa, occurring from the Eastern Cape though to the Western and Northern Cape, possibly occupying the extreme south of Namibia. It generally prefers dense dwarf shrubland, such as sandplain, mesic or arid fynbos and succulent Karoo, also occurring in cereal crops adjacent to natural vegetation and in fallow fields with adequate cover.


It eats insects supplemented with seeds of plants such as bushman grasses (Stipagrostis) and forbs (incl. Galenia). It does most of its foraging on the ground, gleaning food items from bare soil and the bases of grass tufts.


  • The nest is a partially domed cup built of dry grass and lined with finer material, such as rootlets or occasionally wool. It is typically placed in a scrape or hollow in the ground at the base of a grass tuft or forb.
  • Egg-laying season is from August-November, peaking from September-October.
  • It lays 2-3 white, densely speckled eggs.


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.