Cisticolas and Allies (Cisticolidae)

Bar-throated Apalis (Apalis thoracica) - HBW 11, p. 471

French: Apalis à collier German: Halsband-Feinsänger Spanish: Apalis Acollarado
Other common names: Grey-headed Apalis (griseiceps); Mouse Apalis (murina)

Taxonomy: Motacilla thoracica Shaw, 1811, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Sometimes considered to form a superspecies with A. pulchra and A. ruwenzorii, but these species have ten (not twelve) rectrices, and genetic evidence indicates that they are not closely related to present species. Taxonomy confused by considerable geographical variation in plumage. Until recently was treated as conspecific with A. flavigularis, A. lynesi and A. fuscigularis, and this perhaps more appropriate; molecular-genetic evidence suggests that these are, indeed, nested among other races of present species. Many races in the largely contiguous populati.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Motacilla thoracica Shaw, 1811, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Sometimes considered to form a superspecies with A. pulchra and A. ruwenzorii, but these species have ten (not twelve) rectrices, and genetic evidence indicates that they are not closely related to present species. Taxonomy confused by considerable geographical variation in plumage. Until recently was treated as conspecific with A. flavigularis, A. lynesi and A. fuscigularis, and this perhaps more appropriate; molecular-genetic evidence suggests that these are, indeed, nested among other races of present species. Many races in the largely contiguous populations of S Africa intergrade over considerable distances, suggesting that they represent clinal variation and could therefore be collapsed; e.g. claudei and capensis could be subsumed into nominate, darglensis into venusta, lebomboensis into drakensbergensis, spelonkensis into flaviventris, and arnoldi into rhodesiae. On the other hand, there are three major genetic divisions among populations in S Africa: S of R Tugela, in South Africa; R Tugela to R Limpopo; and Zimbabwe. Proposed race iringae (from Tanzania) merged with griseiceps. Full review desirable. Race whitei sometimes listed as bensoni, but that name preoccupied by a synonym of A. chapini strausae. Nineteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • griseiceps Reichenow & Neumann, 1895 - SE Kenya and N & C Tanzania.
  • pareensis Ripley & Heinrich, 1966 - S Pare Mts, in NE Tanzania.
  • murina Reichenow, 1904 - NE & S Tanzania, N Malawi (Mafinga Mts, Misuku Hills) and adjacent NE Zambia.

     See all 19 subspecies
  • griseiceps Reichenow & Neumann, 1895 - SE Kenya and N & C Tanzania.
  • pareensis Ripley & Heinrich, 1966 - S Pare Mts, in NE Tanzania.
  • murina Reichenow, 1904 - NE & S Tanzania, N Malawi (Mafinga Mts, Misuku Hills) and adjacent NE Zambia.
  • uluguru Neumann, 1914 - Uluguru Mts, in E Tanzania.
  • youngi Kinnear, 1936 - SW Tanzania, N & NC Malawi (including Nyika Plateau) and adjacent NE Zambia.
  • whitei C. H. B. Grant & Mackworth-Praed, 1937 - E Zambia and SC & S Malawi.
  • rhodesiae Gunning & Roberts, 1911 - Zimbabwe plateau.
  • quarta Irwin, 1966 - E Zimbabwe (Nyanga Mts) and S Mozambique (Mt Gorongosa).
  • arnoldi Roberts, 1936 - E highlands of Zimbabwe and adjacent Mozambique.
  • flaviventris Gunning & Roberts, 1911 - E Botswana and adjacent NE South Africa (E to Pretoria).
  • spelonkensis Gunning & Roberts, 1911 - highlands of Limpopo Province and N Mpumalanga, in NE South Africa.
  • drakensbergensis Roberts, 1937 - S Mpumalanga and N KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and W Swaziland.
  • lebomboensis Roberts, 1931 - Lebombo Mts (on E Swaziland-S Mozambique-KwaZulu-Natal borders).
  • darglensis Gunning & Roberts, 1911 - midlands of KwaZulu-Natal (E South Africa).
  • venusta Gunning & Roberts, 1911 - S KwaZulu-Natal S to R Great Kei (E Eastern Cape).
  • thoracica (Shaw, 1811) - Eastern Cape from R Great Kei S to R Gamtoos (SE South Africa).
  • claudei W. L. Sclater, 1910 - Western Cape (from Knysna) E to W Eastern Cape (Humansdorp), in S South Africa.
  • capensis Roberts, 1936 - S coastal plain of Western Cape (S South Africa).
  • griseopyga Lawson, 1965 - W coastal plain of Western Cape (S South Africa).