Statius Müller, 1776,
Brazil; error = Senegal.
Formerly considered conspecific with V. wilsoni, V. camerunensis, V. nigeriae, V. codringtoni, V. funerea and V. purpurascens. These species differ, however, in breeding plumage of male, in bill and leg colours and, usually, in song, and in some cases also in nestling mouth pattern and colours; up to four species occur sympatrically, with no morphological evidence of interbreeding. Present species possibly interbreeds with V. funerea in S DRCongo and with V. purpurascens in NE Tanzania. Races sometimes thought to form three groups, W & NC “chalybeata group”, single-taxon NE “ultramarina group”, and C & S “amauropteryx group”, possibly representing three separate species. Race amauropteryx has in the past been treated as a distinct species, having a red bill, but in SW Zambia, NW Zimbabwe and N Botswana red-billed and white-billed individuals occur together in mixed populations having same songs and competing for same call-sites and breeding females. Races neumanni and centralis intergrade in NE Africa. Green-glossed birds in Senegal sometimes separated as race aenea, but occur together with blue and greenish-blue birds; proposed taxon incognita (from SE DRCongo) is regarded as a synonym of centralis. Six subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
Only subscribers are able to see the bibliography. Login or Subscribe to get access to a lot of extra features!