In much of 20th century treated as a subspecies of L. argentatus, despite the perceptions of some authors; now widely accepted as a species, on basis of little or no hybridization with L. michahellis in area of contact (or near-contact) in Black Sea, plus clear suites of morphological characters#R and unique use of open-wing display during Long Call#R. Molecular data also show it to be a distinct species, closer to L. fuscus, suggesting that the three species may have diverged during the Pleistocene. Form ponticus of the Caspian Sea is a synonym of cachinnans. See also L. argentatus. Monotypic.
Black Sea to Caspian Sea, S & E Kazakhstan and W China (W Xinjiang), and expanding westward in Europe (breeding regularly in Poland from 1980s)#R. Winters S to SW Asia, Middle East and NE Africa and increasingly in C & W Europe.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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