A small songbird previously unknown to science has been discovered in the west African nation of Gabon.
The Olive-backed Forest Robin (Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus) was named for its distinctive olive back and rump. Adult birds measure 4.5 inches in length and average 18 grams in weight. Males exhibit a fiery orange throat and breast, yellow belly, olive back, and black feathers on the head. Females are similar but less vibrant. Both sexes have a distinctive white dot on their face in front of each eye.
Brian Schmidt, a research ornithologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and colleagues described the species in a new paper in the journal Zootaxa. The robin occurs in dense forest undergrowth, and little is known about its diet, breeding habits, or range. — M.M.