India = Lucknow.
Closely related to S. holospilus, S. klossi, S. kinabaluensis and S. rufipectus, and may be conspecific with any or all of these taxa. Races perplexus, minimus, abbotti, asturinus, sipora, natunensis and baweanus have recently been treated as valid individual species#R, but none of these appears to fulfil the required criteria for species status when compared with all other taxa in the complex, even though the nearest neighbour may be very different; for the moment, therefore, pending a more detailed and comprehensive analysis, these taxa are retained as subspecies of S. cheela. Situation in Nicobar Is somewhat complicated, although presence of two different species of Spilornis generally agreed upon: C Nicobars form minimus, when treated as a full species, often considered to include S. klossi as a race, but minimus is closer to other forms of S. cheela group#R; an undescribed form of present species (based on three specimens) in S Nicobars was previously thought to be of race malayensis, but clearly distinct from latter and from sympatric klossi#R. Several further races have been described, e.g. tonkinensis (from N Vietnam), but considered invalid. Twenty-one subspecies currently recognized.
Also occurs (race undescribed) in S Nicobar Is (Menchal, Kondul, Great Nicobar)#R.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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