Large and powerful for a wheatear with glossy black plumage; found in rocky deserts. Only adults have a white cap. Sexes similar. In all plumages lacks a black terminal tail band; its mostly white tail separates it from other similar black wheatears. Inhabits rocky slopes and steep desert wadis. Feeds on arthropods. The male sings a clear series of whistles and trills; often given during a display flight.