Barbets (Capitonidae)

Acacia Pied Barbet (Tricholaema leucomelas) - HBW 7, p. 188

French: Barbican pie German: Rotstirn-Bartvogel Spanish: Barbudo Pío
Other common names: Pied Barbet

Taxonomy: Bucco leucomelas Boddaert, 1783, Cape of Good Hope.
Forms a superspecies with T. diademata and T. frontata, and the three have in the past been treated as conspecific; all respond strongly to playback of each other’s song. Occasionally interbreeds with T. frontata in S Zambia. Fairly closely related also to T. lacrymosa. Species name sometimes erroneously spelt leucomelan, leucomelaena or leucomelaina, but original leucomelas must stand, as being non-Latinized Greek. Proposed race namaqua (W South Africa) included within leucomelas, nkatiensis (N Botswana) within .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Bucco leucomelas Boddaert, 1783, Cape of Good Hope.
Forms a superspecies with T. diademata and T. frontata, and the three have in the past been treated as conspecific; all respond strongly to playback of each other’s song. Occasionally interbreeds with T. frontata in S Zambia. Fairly closely related also to T. lacrymosa. Species name sometimes erroneously spelt leucomelan, leucomelaena or leucomelaina, but original leucomelas must stand, as being non-Latinized Greek. Proposed race namaqua (W South Africa) included within leucomelas, nkatiensis (N Botswana) within centralis, and zuluensis (SE Zimbabwe S to Natal) within affinis. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • centralis (Roberts, 1932) - Angola, extreme SW Zambia and W Zimbabwe, S to S Namibia, N Cape Province and W Natal.
  • affinis (Shelley, 1880) - E Zimbabwe and SW Mozambique, S to E Cape Province, E & N Lesotho and N Natal.
  • leucomelas (Boddaert, 1783) - C, S & SW Cape Province.