[sic] Vieillot, 1817,
“Ceylon”; error = Java.
DNA studies#R place this Asian species closest to African drongos, providing evidence of dispersal from Africa c. 10 million years ago. Dark race longicaudatus and white-faced race leucogenis formerly treated as two separate species. Suggested subspecies groups somewhat tentative, as chequerboard pattern of plumage variation makes grouping of races difficult#R; here we follow recent proposal for five groups#R, which seem reasonable in both geographical and morphological terms. Subspecific taxonomy complicated, as many races not clearly differentiated, and most mainland races are highly migratory. Race hopwoodi intergrades with longicaudatus in West Bengal and Bhutan, and with mouhoti in NE Myanmar, NW & W Laos and C Vietnam; nigrescens intergrades with mouhoti in S Myanmar and with bondi in SE Thailand; in China, pale leucogenis intergrades with dark salangensis along R Yangtze, and latter may intergrade with mouhoti in N Vietnam (N Tonkin). Proposed race beavani (E Afghanistan) not reliably separable from longicaudatus. Proposed races celaenus and whiteheadi (substitute name for palawanensis, preoccupied) poorly differentiated from nominate and lumped therein in HBW; tentatively reinstated here on grounds of biogeography, also celaenus being darker “particularly on the lower parts”#R, and whiteheadi because it is marginally bluer than nominate. Original spelling “leucophoeus” is emended to “leucophaeus” based on internal evidence#R. Sixteen subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
Only subscribers are able to see the bibliography. Login or Subscribe to get access to a lot of extra features!