Until quite recently, widely treated as a race of L. aethiopicus, but recent molecular studies#R indicate closer relationship with L. ferrugineus (which see). Black birds thought to be a morph of present species in NE Kenya now established as a separate species, L. nigerrimus#R (which see). Race somaliensis sometimes attributed to L. aethiopicus, but recent study#R found no genetic difference between it and sublacteus (from which it differs in having white bar on median upperwing-coverts). Birds in S of range (Tanzania) may represent a separate taxon, differing genetically#R#R from those in N; more study needed. Two subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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