Finfoots (Heliornithidae)

African Finfoot (Podica senegalensis) - HBW 3, p. 216

French: Grébifoulque d'Afrique German: Binsenralle Spanish: Avesol Africano
Other common names: Peters's Finfoot (petersii)

Taxonomy: Heliornis senegalensis Vieillot, 1817, Senegal.
Suggested subdivision of family into two subfamilies places present species in Podicinae alongside Heliopais personata. A cline in size, increasing towards south and east of range. Race camerunensis may apparently intermix with senegalensis in S Cameroon. Birds from Loango coast (extreme NW Angola) formerly awarded separate race albipectus, being intermediate in size and range, but not reliably separable. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • senegalensis (Vieillot, 1817) - Senegal E mainly through forested belt of W Africa to E Zaire, Uganda, NW Tanzania and Ethiopia.
  • somereni Chapin, 1954 - Kenya and NE Tanzania.
  • camerunensis Sjöstedt, 1893 - S Cameroon, Gabon, Congo and N Zaire.
  • petersii Hartlaub, 1852 - Angola E to SE Zaire, Zambia and Mozambique, and S to E South Africa.

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