Barn-owls (Tytonidae)

Ashy-faced Owl (Tyto glaucops) - HBW 5, p. 72

French: Effraie d’Hispaniola German: Hispaniolaschleiereule Spanish: Lechuza de la Española
Other common names: Hispaniolan/Ashy-faced Barn-owl

Taxonomy: Str[ix] glaucops Kaup, 1853, Jamaica; error = Hispaniola.
Until recently considered conspecific with T. alba. Following colonization of Hispaniola in late 1970’s by T. a. pratincola, latter found not to interbreed with nominate glaucops, and separation as two species now widely accepted. Several recent works consider nominate glaucops part of a natural group including insularis and nigrescens (last 2 forms possibly comprising a separate species, T. insularis), with extinct form T. cavatica from intervening island of Puerto Rico also considered closely related to this group; others place in.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Str[ix] glaucops Kaup, 1853, Jamaica; error = Hispaniola.
Until recently considered conspecific with T. alba. Following colonization of Hispaniola in late 1970’s by T. a. pratincola, latter found not to interbreed with nominate glaucops, and separation as two species now widely accepted. Several recent works consider nominate glaucops part of a natural group including insularis and nigrescens (last 2 forms possibly comprising a separate species, T. insularis), with extinct form T. cavatica from intervening island of Puerto Rico also considered closely related to this group; others place insularis and nigrescens in T. alba. On present evidence, best option may be to treat the three extant races as one species, with cavatica probably representing an extinct race. Limited available data suggest similarities to small island races of T. alba that may also warrant treatment as separate species. Colour characters of race nigrescens may not be tenable. Three subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • glaucops (Kaup, 1853) - Hispaniola, including Tortue I.
  • nigrescens (Lawrence, 1878) - Dominica.
  • insularis (Pelzeln, 1872) - St Vincent, Bequia, Union, Carriacou and Grenada.

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