Hitherto treated as conspecific with H. tahitica (which see). Sometimes treated as conspecific with H. neoxena, but differs morphologically (especially in bill size, and in tail structure and markings). Occasionally split into E “subfusca group” (with ambiens) and paler W “javanica group” but this is inappropriate, as variation is clinal. Split of form domicola, because “smaller with a relatively long tail and greener gloss above” and “calls noticeably higher, thinner and clearer”#R, now widely accepted, but size (except bill) and tail not different and voice indistinguishable in available recordings; thus, differs in its green vs blue gloss (1), smaller bill (effect size vs javanica −4.16, score 2), and various nesting parameters#R (not scored). Race frontalis not well differentiated, has been thought also to include individuals from Wallacea, but they probably belong with javanica. Birds from Philippines and Borneo (and occasionally those W to Malay Peninsula and S to Sumatra) sometimes separated as race abbotti (with which mallopega from N Philippines synonymized), but they intergrade with javanica, and are generally indistinguishable from it. Seven subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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