Deelfontein, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Genetic data indicate that N populations are basal, and that, within South Africa, W (coastal) and E (grassland) populations are more closely related to each other than to Karoo populations. Very rare race beesleyi treated as full species in HBW based on suite of supposedly unique characters in fact shared with present species#R, and by genetic distance; however, despite more recent affirmation of species rank#R, molecular sampling of key taxa has not yet occurred. Geographical variation mostly in plumage coloration, with fine-scale differences linked to changes in soil colour, resulting in numerous races having been described; differences among many contiguous forms broadly clinal, and further study may demonstrate that several listed races are unsustainable. Other named races include longispina from Angola (W Huíla), synonymized with obscurata; bathoeni from SE Botswana, merged with kalahariae; bradfieldi from Great Namaqualand (Langklip), merged with arenaria; from W to E in South Africa, bushmanensis and meinertzhageni are considered synonymous with garrula, baddeleyi with nominate, robertsi and subpallida with alticola, and latimerae with macdonaldi. Isolated population in SE DRCongo not yet ascribed to any named race (although only specimen labelled as obscurata in RMCA). Eleven subspecies recognized.
Also (race unknown) in SE DRCongo (Kundelungu in Katanga)#R.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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