Closest relatives probably I. archipelagicus and I. indicator. Probably derived from early Asian invasion of Indicator from Africa, and originating from same ancestral stock as that which gave rise to I. archipelagicus; both have bright yellow (not always easily visible) in plumage and short outer rectrix, a combination of features shared only with African I. indicator. Birds from NE Assam, Nagaland and Manipur to N Myanmar described as race fulvus, reportedly darker and with less yellow on forehead than nominate#R, but considered largely inseparable from latter. Two subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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