Mt Cameroon, 6000 feet [c. 1830 m].
Sometimes (with D. elliotii) placed in a separate genus Mesopicos along with D. goertae, D. spodocephalus and D. griseocephalus#R; in the past, sometimes separated (with D. elliotii) in genus Polipicus. Generally regarded as conspecific with D. elliotii, and birds on Mt Kupé, here recognized as race kupeensis, have been considered a hybrid population; re-examination and re-measurement of specimens, however, show that kupeensis, while intermediate in tail length between the other two, is very close in wing length to johnstoni but has bill length shorter than that of johnstoni, indicating that it is not hybrid but merits status as a subspecies of johnstoni. On this basis, present species differs from D. elliotii in having no or only light streaking below (3); tail mainly blackish vs mainly same green as upperparts (2); greener, less buffy face (supercilium and ear-coverts) (1); smaller bill and shorter tail (effect size for tail when nominate and kupeensis combined vs elliotii −2.2; hence 2). Other named races are schultzei (Bioko I) and sordidatus (Oku district, in Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon), both of which seem indistinguishable from johnstoni. Two subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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