Gracaulus [sic] tenuirostris
New South Wales, Australia.
Hitherto treated as a species that embraced many more taxa: previous treatments (including HBW) accepting species rank for E. sula, E. dohertyi, E. dispar and E. salomonis left an unsatisfactory mosaic arrangement of taxa in need of further revision, but situation is one of riddling complexity which molecular research#R has only partially resolved (and partially added to). New arrangement outlined here attempts a plausible and consistent use of available evidence, but perhaps no more satisfactory, involving separation mainly of insular N taxa (typically with darker grey males and rufous, unbarred females) into eight further species: Micronesian forms E. monacha, E. nesiotis and E. insperatum, along with Wallacean E. obiense and E. grayi, Geelvink Bay E. meyerii, and Melanesian E. remotum and E. rostratum. Races salvadorii and talautense of E. morio sometimes treated as races of present species, for no clear reason. Mainland New Guinea race muellerii apparently indistinguishable from migratory Australian nominate race, leading to suggestion that all or most populations of former are migrants from Australia and that muellerii should be considered synonymous with nominate#R; further study needed. Racial identity of birds on Lembata and of those on Seram Laut uncertain, with former tentatively included in timoriense and latter in amboinense; similarly, birds in NE Australia (Cape York Peninsula) presumed to belong with melvillense. Races may form two groups: edithae, pererratum, emancipatum, kalaotuae and timoriense appear to have denser barring, whiter underparts and greyer upperparts. Twelve subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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