Mayotte scops owl

The Mayotte scops owl (Otus mayottensis) is a species of owl in the family Strigidae. It is endemic to the island of Mayotte in the Comoros.

Mayotte scops owl
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Otus
O. mayottensis
Binomial name
Otus mayottensis
Benson, 1960
Otus mayottensis map.svg
Approximate distribution map


The Mayotte scops owl is very similar to the rainforest scops owl Otus rutilus with which it was once considered conspecific. The upperparts are plain brown marked with faint light spots while the underparts are paler brown than the upperparts. The facial disk is also brownish with a contrasting darker rim restricted to just the sides and not seen above the eyes. The crown is brown with darker streaks and the flanks are more reddish-brown with short dark streaks. The eyes are yellow. The body length is 20–22 cm (7.9–8.7 in).[2]


The call of the Mayotte scops owl is a series of 3–11 deep, single hoots.[3]

Distribution and habitatEdit

It is endemic to Maore island in Mayotte.[4] where it is common and widespread[5] The population of the Mayotte scops owl is thought to be stable as there is no evidence for any declines or of any substantial threats, thus it is categorised as least concern.[1][4]

The habitat of the Mayotte scops owl is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.[2]


The Mayotte scops owl has been considered to be conspecific with the Pemba scops owl Otus pembaensis, the Anjouan scops owl Otus capnodes rainforest scops owl and the Torotoroka scops owl Otus madagacarensis under O. rutilus but this species has now been split and the Mayotte scops owl is now regarded as its own species, mainly based on its very different call.[5][1] The scops owls of Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles form a clade within the genus Otus with the Oriental scops owl Otus sunia and are not closely related to the continental African scops owls.[3]


  1. ^ a b c BirdLife International (2016). "Otus mayottensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22732599A95047769. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22732599A95047769.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Mayotte scops owl (Otus mayottensis)". Planet of Birds. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b Fuchs, Jérôme; et al. (2008). "Tracing the colonization history of the Indian Ocean scops-owls (Strigiformes: Otus) with further insight into the spatio-temporal origin of the Malagasy avifauna". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8: 197. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-197. PMC 2483963. PMID 18611281.
  4. ^ a b "Mayotte Scops-owl Otus mayottensis". Birdlife International. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b Kemp, Alan; Kemp, Meg (1998). Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands. New Holland. p. 316. ISBN 1-85974-100-2.