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

    41–46 cm; male 83·4–99·5 g, female 92·5–128·5 g. Adult grey above, wings chestnut with rufous patch, throat rufous, breast pale... read more


    Rattling, grating call, like that of C. merlini, in descending series; also a harsh... 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, damselflies), small snakes and lizards. Forages in... read more


    Season generally Mar–Jun. Breeding records in May (eggs), Jun (fledgling) and Dec (grown juvenile). Nest a flat platform of leaves,... read more



    Status and conservation

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

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). 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 25 February 2020).