Statius Müller, 1776,
Commonly thought to be close to P. leucoscepus, P. rufopictus and P. swainsonii. In one study this species appeared to be close to P. leucoscepus#R; in another, genetic evidence suggested that it and P. swainsonii are each other’s closest relatives, although the other two species (P. leucoscepus, P. rufopictus) were not sampled#R. Race swynnertoni of present species hybridizes with P. swainsonii near Harare, in NE Zimbabwe. Race cranchii (with leucoparaeus and harterti) has sometimes been separated as a distinct species, but there appear to be multiple areas where cranchii interbreeds with (or, through intermediate subspecies, grades into) the strongly black-and-white subspecies of present species, such that species status appears impractical. Race loangwae sometimes subsumed within melanogaster. Many other races have been described, but doubtfully valid: chio, palliditectus and cunenensis included in nominate afer; krebsi, notatus and lehmanni subsumed within castaneiventer; aylwinae, tertius and tornowi included in melanogaster; punctulatus, boehmi, mackenziei, benguellensis, intercedens, nyanzae and itigi synonymized with cranchii; and humboldtii included in swynnertoni. Eight subspecies currently recognized.
Introduced to Ascension I (S Atlantic).
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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