Buntastrild ( Pytilia melba )

Streifenastrilde ( Pytilia ) is the name for a genus of the family of finches. There are four or five species described with numerous subspecies, all of which occur exclusively in Africa.


Streifenastrilde reach a body length of between eleven and 13 centimeters. All species have a quergebändertes plumage on the underparts. Rotmaskenastrild, Wienerastrild and Buntastrild have a red face mask that is missing from the Auroraastrild. The presence extends across Africa south of the Sahara. When Auroraastrild the distribution area extends as a narrow strip through the southern part of the dry savanna, the Rotmaskenastrild occurs in the West African savannah. Both species occur in many parts of its range before sporadically. The Wienerastrild colonized East Africa including the island of Zanzibar. The most common wall of Buntastrild, are described for the ten currently recognized subspecies. They are separated in a rotzügelige and a gray trains celled subspecies group. The distinction is not only about the plumage coloration, but also very differentiated vocal patterns in both groups, which prevents hybridization in contact zones.

Wienerastrild, Auroraastrild and Rotmaskenastrild hold mainly in trees and bushes to go in search of food but also on the ground. When Buntastrild foraging on the ground is slightly more pronounced. The Buntastrild is the least social bird under the Streifenastrilden. He lives mostly in pairs and comes only at the end of the breeding season in small family groups before. The diet of all four Streifenastrilde consists to a large extent from insects. The clutch consists of two to six white -shelled eggs. Streifenastrilde are breeding hosts of widow birds of the genus Vidua (formerly Steganura ).


All four or five species were held in Europe in the 19th century, but play a relatively minor role in the decorative bird attitude. Contributing to their specific nutritional requirements. Your care requires a wide range of animal feed materials. While non-ferrous and Auroraastrilde wax moth larvae usually like to eat, Wienerastrilde reject these from most and need to be fed during the winter months with frosted ant pupae. They are also incompatible birds during the breeding season, and can therefore only be restricted socialized with other dogs or other finch species. For the cages they are unsuitable and require spacious indoor aviaries. In small numbers Streifenastrilde come as wild-caught regularly in the trade, but are due to non- appropriate nutrition during transport often in a poor state of health. All species are bred in small numbers in Europe.


The Streifenastrilden include the following four or five species and subspecies:

  • Buntastrild Pytilia melba (Linnaeus, 1758) Pytilia melba melba (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Pytilia melba Citerior Strickland, 1853
  • Pytilia melba flavicaudata Welch & Welch, 1988
  • Pytilia melba soudanensis ( Sharpe, 1890)
  • Pytilia melba jessei Shelley, 1903
  • Pytilia melba belli Ogilvie - Grant, 1907
  • Pytilia melba percivali Someren, 1919
  • Pytilia melba grotei Reichenow, 1919
  • Pytilia melba thamnophila Clancey, 1957
  • Pytilia melba hygrophila Irwin & Benson, 1967
  • Pytilia phoenicoptera phoenicoptera Swainson, 1837
  • Pytilia phoenicoptera emini Hartert, E, 1899