Previously treated as conspecific with C. idenburgi, which see. Subspecies divided into six groups, based largely on male plumages as presented in recent regional field guide#R: “ornatus group” (in much of N & W of range); “jugularis group” (confined to Philippines); “frenatus group”, male yellow-bellied and olive-backed; single-taxon “infrenatus group”, with plain face, yellow belly, brown back; single-taxon “teysmanni group”, with black belly and brown back; and “clementiae group”, black-bellied and olive-backed. Evidence is accumulating that multiple species are represented within present arrangement; comprehensive review involving molecular, acoustic and morphological evidence is needed. Birds on Andaman Is currently placed in race andamanicus, but some variation evident, indicating that perhaps more than one race is involved; birds on Narcondam possibly an undescribed race and a further new race (on S Nicobars) awaits description#R. Conversely, several races poorly differentiated, e.g. blanfordi could perhaps be included in klossi or ornatus, and robustirostris in frenatus. Race name pictus, described from NW Basilan (in W Philippines), was based on a composite specimen, major parts deriving from nominate race. Many additional races have been described, all considered insufficiently distinct to warrant retention: tamdaoensis (from NE Vietnam) treated as synonym of rhizophorae, and annamensis (Nha Trang, in C Vietnam) included in flammaxillaris; heliobletus (Tanjong Dungun, in Peninsular Malaysia), microleucus (Pulo Taya, off SE Sumatra), heliozetetus (Tanjung Rengsam, on Bangka I, off SE Sumatra), zapegus (Pulo Subi, in Natuna Is), heliomanis (Salintukan, in E Borneo) and pectoralis (Java) all synonymized with ornatus; in Philippines, dinagatensis (from Dinagat) and mindanensis (Zamboanga, in W Mindanao) both included in nominate; meyeri (N Sulawesi), dissentiens#R (Indrulaman, in S Sulawesi) and saleyerensis (Selayar I, off SW Sulawesi) all merged with plateni, although recent research suggests that latter, at least, may in fact be valid#R; zenobius (Ambon, in S Moluccas) considered inseparable from clementiae; and hachisuka (Obi, S of Halmahera), valia (Goodenough I, off SE New Guinea) and, in Australia, macgillivrayi (Cape York, in N Queensland), olivei (Cairns, in NE Queensland) and australis (Port Molle = Airlie Beach, Whitsundays, in E Queensland) all merged with frenatus. Twenty-one subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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