Cape of Good Hope; error = Pondicherry, south-east India.
Type locality has twice been corrected, first from South Africa, second from Sri Lanka; Sri Lankan race therefore no longer the nominate. Species sometimes treated as conspecific with P. aurigaster owing to interbreeding in Myanmar; hybrids earlier described incorrectly as separate species (P. nigropileus and P. burmanicus). In NW India, often hybridizes with P. leucogenys; hybrids between latter and race intermedius of present species erroneously described as a separate species (Molpastes magrathi). Sometimes hybridizes also with P. leucotis. Race wetmorei previously referred to as saturatus, but that name preoccupied by a race of Eurillas latirostris (which was formerly placed in present genus) and was replaced prior to 1961 so is permanently invalid. Some listed races weakly differentiated or perhaps described from mid-points of clines or hybrid zones; full review needed. In India, primrosei (Assam) and afer (Meghalaya) included in bengalensis, and vicinus (Mysore) and pusillus (NE Tamil Nadu) in nominate. Eight subspecies provisionally recognized.
Introduced in Polynesia, including Fiji, Samoa and Tonga (bengalensis); also E Arabia (Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman) and Hawaii (Oahu) (races unknown).
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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