Mrs. Moreau's Warbler Scepomycter winifredae Scientific name definitions

Flemming P. Jensen
Version: 2.1 — Published March 3, 2023


Systematics History

Originally described as part of the genus Artisornis by Moreau (1), but moved to Bathmocercus by Hall and Moreau in 1970 (15), which was followed by subsequent authors (e.g., 16, 17). Grant and Mackworth-Praed (18) had proposed it be placed in its own genus, Scepomycter on account of subtle morphological differences, and DNA studies have subsequently supported this classification; Mrs. Moreau's Warbler is not closely related to either Artisornis or Bathmocercus, and is best treated in the monotypic genus Scepomycter (19, 20).

Birds from the Rubeho–Ukaguru Mountains were described as a separate species, the Rubeho Warbler (Scepomycter rubehoensis), based on diagnosable plumage differences (see Subspecies) and lack of gene flow between populations in the Uluguru and Rubeho–Ukaguru mountains (5), but this taxon is treated as subspecies rubehoensis here.


Two subspecies are considered here.


Mrs. Moreau's Warbler (Mrs. Moreau's) Scepomycter winifredae winifredae Scientific name definitions

Systematics History

Artisornis winifredae Moreau, 1938, Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 58:139. Type locality = Kinole forest, northern Uluguru, Tanganyika [Tanzania] (1).

The holotype, a male collected by R. E. Moreau on 11 July 1937, is held at the British Museum of Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom (1938.6.18.1) (1).


Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania.

Identification Summary

Uniform rufous head, throat, and upper breast; underparts grayish brown with an olive tinge, and only very faint buffy-olive mottling on the central underparts (5).


Mrs. Moreau's Warbler (Rubeho) Scepomycter winifredae rubehoensis Scientific name definitions

Systematics History

Scepomycter winifredae rubehoensis Bowie, Fjeldså, and Kiure, 2009, Ibis 151:709–719. Type locality = 2,100 m elevation in Ukwiva Forest, Rubeho Mountains, Kilosa District, Morogoro Region, Tanzania (5). Proposed as a new species, Scepomycter rubehoensis, by Bowie et al. (5), but here considered a subspecies (see Systematics History).

The holotype, an adult male collected by Jacob Kurie on 12 September 2002, is held at the Zoological Museum, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark (ZMUC 94.093) (5).


Ukaguru and Rubeho Mountains, Tanzania.

Identification Summary

Differs in having a slightly deeper red head, a more chestnut crown, slightly more mottled underparts with pale olive-buff subapical transverse spots on most feathers, and a slightly longer bill (5).

Related Species

Phylogenetic studies based on DNA sequence data suggest that Mrs. Moreau's Warbler is rather distantly related to the genus Bathmocercus, and should therefore be maintained in Scepomycter (19, 21). Within Cisticolidae, relationships are not well-resolved, but Mrs. Moreau's Warbler may be sister to Kopje Warbler (Euryptila subcinnamomea) (21), or it may be sister to Socotra Warbler (Incana incana) (20). More broadly, Mrs. Moreau's Warbler appears to be part of a clade that includes Oriole Warbler (Hypergerus atriceps), Gray-capped Warbler (Eminia lepida), Rufous-eared Warbler (Malcorus pectoralis), Socotra Warbler, Kopje Warbler, and the Bathmocercus warblers (19, 20, 21).


None reported (22).


Also known as Winifred's Warbler.

Fossil History

Information needed.

Recommended Citation

Jensen, F. P. (2023). Mrs. Moreau's Warbler (Scepomycter winifredae), version 2.1. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.mrmwar1.02.1