The white-throated needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus), also known as needle-tailed swift or spine-tailed swift, is a large swift in the genus Hirundapus.
White-throated needletails are large swifts with a robust, barrel-like body. They measure about 20 cm and weigh between 110 and 120 grams. They are greyish-brown except for a white throat and a white patch, extending from the base of the tail to the flanks.
Needle-tailed swifts get their name from the spined end of their tail, which is not forked as it is in the typical swifts of the genus Apus.
The white-throated needletail was first described by the English ornithologist John Latham in 1801 under the binomial name Hirundo caudacuta. Their current genus Hirundapus is constructed from the names of the swallow genus Hirundo and the swift genus Apus. The specific name caudacutus comes from the Latin words cauda meaning "tail" and acutus meaning "pointed".
They build their nests in rock crevices in cliffs or hollow trees. They do not like to sit on the ground and spend most of their time in the air. They feed on small, flying insects like beetles, flies, bees and moths.