Closely related to T. urogalloides, with which very commonly hybridizes where ranges overlap in Siberia (in one area up to 12% of males reported to be hybrids); hybrids with Lyrurus tetrix also common and with Lagopus lagopus occasional. Subspecies name crassirostris replaces major, as latter preoccupied. Many of proposed races clearly intergrade, and sometimes reduced essentially to two, with nominate in N and taczanowskii in S & E (these two differ clearly, latter having largely white belly, vent and “trousers”, but they are linked by very extensive intergradation zone#R); this option, however, probably oversimplistic. At least three phylogeographical studies found evidence for treating Pyrenean and Cantabrian populations as a separate evolutionary unit from all other populations#R; one of these studies, however, found close similarities between populations from Balkans and Pyrenees#R. Otherwise, rudolfi sometimes included in crassirostris, obsoletus in kureikensis, and lonnbergi, karelicus and pleskei in nominate. Other proposed races are lugens (from Finland), a presumed variant of nominate; hiomanus (thought to be from Baltic countries), included in crassirostris; and grisescens (extreme SE European Russia), subsumed within uralensis. Full review desirable. Thirteen subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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