Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Near Threatened

Dupont's Lark (Chersophilus duponti)


Taxonomy

French: Alouette de Dupont German: Dupontlerche Spanish: Alondra ricotí
Taxonomy:

Alauda Duponti

Vieillot

, 1824,

#R, Provence, south France

.

North African form margaritae notably distinct, with longer bill (effect size 2.06, score 2); shorter hind-claw and tail (effect size for latter –2.18; score 2); usually pale rufous vs usually blackish-brown plumage above (ns); usually diffuse rufous vs distinct dark brown streaks on throat and breast (ns); and probably stony desert vs grassy plain habitat (ns). Intermediacy of “populations from Morocco E to N Tunisia” (HBW) not apparent in specimens, but internet photographs suggest overlap in plumage features that requires checking in order to confirm or revise current arrangement, and vocal evidence is clearly important; song of margaritae in S Tunisia similar to song of nominate in Algeria, but song of former in E Libya very different#R, raising intriguing question about the taxonomic identity of eastern populations of margaritae. Genetic data indicate earlier split between population in C Tunisia and those in Morocco and Spain than between Iberia and N Africa, but unclear if sample from Tunisia involved nominate or margaritae#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. d. duponti (Vieillot, 1824) – Dupont's Lark – Spain (mainly E Castilla y León, S Navarra and Aragón in the Ebro valley, also W Castilla y León near Portuguese border, E Castilla-La Mancha and SE Andalucía), Morocco (mostly in NE, E of Midelt and R Moulouya, but also recorded S of Great Atlas in Souss-Massa-Drâa#R#R), N Algeria (Hauts Plateaux) and C Tunisia#R. Presumably extinct in France.
  • C. d. margaritae (Koenig, 1888) – Margarita's Lark – Algeria (S slopes of Atlas Mts E to Biskra), SE Tunisia (S of Gabès and the chotts#R), N Libya and coastal W & C Egypt#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    17–18 cm; c. 32–47 g. Medium sized, densely streaked, relatively long-legged lark with long neck, long slender bill with distal half decurved, rather short wings... read more

    Voice

    Male song, from ground or in flight, mostly at dawn and sunset, a mix of twittering with buzzing... read more

    Habitat

    Open plains with shrub-steppe or feather-grass (Stipa) steppe, on flat or rolling terrain... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet insects and seeds. Few details on adult diet, restricted to Spain; few stomachs analysed contained beetles (of families Carabidae,... read more

    Breeding

    Mar–Jul; song from Jan–Feb, pairing in Spain in Mar; often more than one brood. Probably semi-colonial; territorial. Song-... read more

    Movements

    Resident; probably irregular movements during winter. In Spain, has been observed in winter flocks... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Sparsely distributed and uncommon in most areas. Range relatively small and fragmented; still imperfectly known... read more

    Recommended citation

    de Juana, E. & Suárez, F. (2019). Dupont's Lark (Chersophilus duponti). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/57638 on 15 December 2019).