Often regarded as forming a species-group with C. abyssinicus and C. garrulus, though probably more closely allied to former. Race lorti distinctive, on account of breast to mid-belly turquoise or turquoise-green vs white-striped lilac (as a continuation of the throat) with pale rufous-brown tinges on belly (3), and (at least with regard to adjacent populations of nominate caudatus) reduced area of royal blue on carpal and on rump, leaving wing-coverts and lower rump turquoise (2). Seemingly parapatric distribution along R Tana and at
Malinde#R (which would score 3) is not, however, accurate, since the one breeding record of lorti in the region, at Garsen, is well out of range of nominate and not indicative of parapatry; thus, evidence of behavioural or ecological differences required to establish lorti as separate species. Specific name frequently given as feminine, caudata, but genus is masculine. Two subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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