Has been considered closely related to A. audax, and perhaps also to A. gurneyi. Form kamtschatica very similar to canadensis and often synonymized with it. Ethiopian population provisionally included in homeyeri, but racial affinity requires investigation. A recent mitochondrial DNA analysis based on a large number of samples across the species’ distribution reveals Holarctic homogeneity and a distinct Mediterranean lineage: there is a phylogeographic split between mainly Northern Europe, Continental Asia, Japan and North America on the one hand and Central–Southern Europe on the other, this being likely caused by the Last Ice Age, when the population survived in two reproductively isolated glacial refugia; repopulation of Northern Europe occurred from a presumed Asian refugium, whereas the Alpine range was probably repopulated from a refugium in the Mediterranean region#R. Six subspecies normally recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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