Taxonomy and systematics of this bird are quite confusing. The Cisticolidae were formerly included in the "Old World warbler" assemblage and placed in the fmaily Sylviidae. Dorst's Cistocila was initially named Cisticola dorsti, hence the common name. Another very similar cisticola had been described some years earlier as a subspecies of the Red-pate Cisticola (C. ruficeps), and named C. r. guinea. It was eventually discovered that these two taxa were one and the same, and that the song of these birds differs enough from the visually very similar Red-pate Cisticola for reproductive isolation. Thus, the newly-discovered population is in fact best considered a good species, and its proper scientific name is Cisticola guinea.
Its natural habitat is dry savanna. This little-known bird was formerly classified as data deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the uncertainty regarding its taxonomic status. New research has shown it to be plentiful and widespread. Consequently, it is listed as a Species of Least Concern in 2008.