Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Hispaniolan Lizard-cuckoo (Coccyzus longirostris)


French: Tacco d’Hispaniola German: Haitikuckuck Spanish: Cuco lagartero de La Española

Cuculus longirostris


, 1783,



This species and C. merlini (with C. bahamensis), C. vetula and C. vieilloti were previously placed together in Saurothera, but recent molecular analysis found that genus to be embedded within Coccyzus#R. Has been considered conspecific with C. vetula and C. vieilloti. Race petersi is distinctive, having whitish vs pale rufous throat, being paler grey above and on breast, and having paler rufous lower underparts; petersi may be longer-billed and longer-tailed, and one source#R gives nominate tail means of 205 (males) and 210 (females) vs petersi 221 and 223. Population of Saona I has sometimes been separated as race saonae. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. l. longirostris (Hermann, 1783) – Hispaniolan Lizard-cuckoo – Hispaniola, Tortue (off N Haiti) and Saona I (off SE Dominican Republic).
  • C. l. petersi (Richmond & Swales, 1924) – Gonave Lizard-cuckoo – Gonâve I.
  • Descriptive notes

    42 cm; 104 g. Adult grey above, wings chestnut with rufous patch, throat rufous, breast pale grey, belly rufous, long tail with broad white tips; bare skin around eye red,... read more


    Rattling, grating call, like that of S. merlini, in descending series; also a harsh “tchk... read more


    Tropical deciduous forest, tropical lowland evergreen forest; woodland and thicket, bushes on... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects (especially grasshoppers, mantids, also caterpillars, cockroach, cicadas), small snakes and lizards. Forages in middle storey and... read more


    Breeding records in May (eggs), Jun (fledgling) and Dec (grown juvenile). Nest a flat platform of leaves, placed on stump of a tree. Eggs 2... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common within rather restricted range. Rural people eat the flesh of this cuckoo in the traditional belief that it will promote... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2017). Hispaniolan Lizard-cuckoo (Coccyzus longirostris). 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 on 17 November 2017).