Sometimes considered conspecific with C. iriditorques and C. malherbii, and all three occasionally placed in a subgenus Turturoena. However, present species is distinct from C. iriditorques on account of much larger size (at least 1); splodgy white nape-patch vs broad neat golden hindcollar (3); all-dark tail vs outertail broadly tipped white, with inner vanes of undertail rusty (3); darker (blackish vs bluish-dark grey) upperparts (ns); smaller grey throat-patch (ns); underparts shading from dirty greyish-pink to ochre-tinged grey and greyish-ochre vent vs uniform greyish-pink with rustier vent (3). It is distinct from C. malherbii on account of underparts shading from dirty greyish-pink to ochre-tinged grey and greyish-ochre vent vs continuous grey from throat to lower belly, vent purer ochre (3); tail much darker above and below (ns); splodgy white nape-patch vs all green-glossed nape-patch extending further onto mantle (3); female with rusty hindcrown lacking in female malherbii (3); female with much duskier breast and belly than more ochre-tinged female malherbii, which has pure ochre undertail-coverts (ns). Work is needed to clarify the status of the relatively distinctive form sharpei, which has a green-glossed vs amethyst-glossed nape and mantle and greenish-black vs dull russet-brown mantle, scapulars and wing-coverts (these green-biased features perhaps best combined as a single major character); a zone of intergradation exists in Malawi, where specimens sharing characters of each taxon have been collected on Mt Thyolo (material in NHMUK). Two 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!