[sic] Vieillot, 1817,
Interbreeds with P. domesticus in N of range (along the line of the Alps) and with P. hispaniolensis in S (rather broader zone S of Naples, extending S possibly as far as Malta and even Pantelleria). Has been treated variously as a race of one or other of those, as a stabilized hybrid between them, and as an independent species of N African origin that subsequently spread to Italy (and became extinct in N Africa). Molecular analyses#R#R found that italiae possesses DNA from both of aforementioned species, indicating a hybrid origin; nevertheless, it is morphologically distinct from both parent species, and has reached species level through the sorting of pre-existing parental incompatibilities#R, notwithstanding the fact that a high percentage of female hybrids exhibit ovarian hypofunction#R. Has generally been treated as a separate species on grounds that population is stable and has resulted from events long past. Populations in Corsica, Sicily and Crete phenotypically similar to present species and included within it. Species name originally spelt “italioe”, but internal information (“d’Italie”) requires the correction#R. Monotypic.
Italy and adjacent France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia; also Corsica, Sicily, Malta and Crete.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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