11·5–13 cm; 12–18 g. Small to medium-sized, stubby-billed finch with slightly notched tail and prominent white belly. Male nominate race has forehead and lores to supercilium and side of neck deep yellow, forecrown to nape green or deep greenish-yellow, finely streaked blackish, becoming olive-green on mantle to scapulars; cheek and ear-coverts bright yellow, bordered above by dusky-olive eyestripe and upper edge of ear-coverts and by thin olive-green malar stripe; rump yellow, becoming green on uppertail-coverts; tail blackish-brown, finely edged greenish-yellow; upperwing-coverts blackish-brown, edged and tipped pale yellow on medians and olive-buff on greater coverts; alula and flight-feathers dark brown with fine yellowish or yellowish-green edges, tertials more broadly edged greenish and tipped with buff; chin and throat to lower breast deep yellow, upper belly, flanks and undertail-coverts pale yellowish, lower belly and vent white; iris dark brown or blackish; bill brown or brownish-horn above, pale horn below; legs blackish or dark greyish-horn. Differs from C. mozambica mainly in slightly longer tail, yellow belly and more diffuse face pattern. Female is similar to male, but with more greenish-olive on ear-coverts, and prominent streaks on side of breast and flanks. Juvenile has head and upperparts pale brown or buffish-brown, streaked darker, often yellow or green tinge on mantle and back, rump yellow, flight-feathers and tail dark brown, edged paler or yellowish-green, tips of median and greater wing-coverts pale yellowish-buff or buff, short supercilium and face off-white, edge of cheek, ear-coverts and malar stripe grey-brown, chin to breast pale buff-brown, spotted dark brown on lower throat and upper breast, lower breast to undertail-coverts white. Race maculicollis male has narrower yellow band on forehead, upperparts slightly greener or tinged grey-green, more extensively white on rear underparts, flanks prominently streaked blackish, female like nominate but yellow on head paler, crown and upperparts tinged brown, chin and throat whitish, broadly streaked blackish-brown across upper breast; taruensis has upperparts brighter green than previous, broadly yellow on forehead and supercilium, and yellow on breast deeper and extending to upper belly.