Drongos (Dicruridae)

Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) - HBW 14, p. 222

French: Drongo royal German: Königsdrongo Spanish: Drongo Real
Other common names: (Common) King Crow, Black King Crow; South Indian Black Drongo (macrocercus); North Indian Black/Himalayan Black Drongo (albirictus); Ceylon Black Drongo (minor); Chinese Black Drongo (cathoecus)

Taxonomy: Dicrurus macrocercus Vieillot, 1817, Madras City [Chennai], Tamil Nadu, India.
Forms a superspecies with D. adsimilis and often treated as conspecific, but differs slightly in plumage and significantly in proportions and voice; close relationship between the two supported by recent DNA studies. Previously, D. fuscipennis, D. modestus, D. waldenii, D. forficatus and D. aldabranus thought to be part of same superspecies, but morphological and genetic differentiation considered too great to validate such a relationship. Race albirictus intergrades with nominate in SE Pakistan and across C India (in narrow band roughly from K.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Dicrurus macrocercus Vieillot, 1817, Madras City [Chennai], Tamil Nadu, India.
Forms a superspecies with D. adsimilis and often treated as conspecific, but differs slightly in plumage and significantly in proportions and voice; close relationship between the two supported by recent DNA studies. Previously, D. fuscipennis, D. modestus, D. waldenii, D. forficatus and D. aldabranus thought to be part of same superspecies, but morphological and genetic differentiation considered too great to validate such a relationship. Race albirictus intergrades with nominate in SE Pakistan and across C India (in narrow band roughly from Kutch, in W Gujarat, E to S West Bengal) and with cathoecus in NW Myanmar; cathoecus and thai may intergrade in N Thailand. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • albirictus ( Hodgson, 1836) - Himalayas from E Afghanistan and N & E Pakistan E to W & extreme N Myanmar and S China (SE Xizang), S to SE Pakistan (E from Indus Valley) and across C India (S to Gujarat, N Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal; non-breeding also S to S India, C & S Myanmar and N Thailand.
  • macrocercus Vieillot, 1817 - SE Pakistan and peninsular India S from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • minor Blyth, 1850 - N & NW Sri Lanka (S, in W, to Puttalam), including Mannar I.

     See all 7 subspecies
  • albirictus ( Hodgson, 1836) - Himalayas from E Afghanistan and N & E Pakistan E to W & extreme N Myanmar and S China (SE Xizang), S to SE Pakistan (E from Indus Valley) and across C India (S to Gujarat, N Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal; non-breeding also S to S India, C & S Myanmar and N Thailand.
  • macrocercus Vieillot, 1817 - SE Pakistan and peninsular India S from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • minor Blyth, 1850 - N & NW Sri Lanka (S, in W, to Puttalam), including Mannar I.
  • cathoecus Swinhoe, 1871 - breeds C, E & S China (E from Qinghai, S from Jilin; including Hainan I), Myanmar (except W & N), N Thailand and N Indochina; non-breeding S to SW & S Myanmar, S Malay Peninsula (Singapore) and S Indochina.
  • thai Kloss, 1921 - S Myanmar (Tenasserim), C & E Thailand, probably E Cambodia, and S Indochina.
  • harterti Stuart Baker, 1918 - Taiwan.
  • javanus Kloss, 1921 - Java and Bali.