Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Black Saw-wing (Psalidoprocne pristoptera) - HBW 9, p. 643

French: Hirondelle hérissée German: Erzschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina Negra
Other common names: Black Roughwing; Blanford’s Saw-wing (blanfordi); Blue/Fork-tailed Saw-wing (pristoptera); Brown Saw-wing/Roughwing (antinorii); Congo/Mangbettu Saw-wing (mangbettorum); Eastern Saw-wing (orientalis); Ethiopian/Kaffa Saw-wing (oleaginea); Petit’s Saw-wing/Roughwing (petiti); Shari/Western Saw-wing (chalybea)

Taxonomy: Hirundo (Chelidon) pristoptera Rüppell, 1836, Simen Province, Ethiopia.
Forms a superspecies with P. obscura. Taxonomy complex, and some races overlap in range with apparently little interbreeding; hence, races petiti, chalybea, blanfordi, antinorii, oleaginea, mangbettorum, orientalis and holomelas often treated as full species; further work required in order to assess relationships within the group. Additional proposed races include kosteri (Benguela, in W Angola), percivali (Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique) and bamingui (R Bamingui, in Central African Republic), but these are n.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Hirundo (Chelidon) pristoptera Rüppell, 1836, Simen Province, Ethiopia.
Forms a superspecies with P. obscura. Taxonomy complex, and some races overlap in range with apparently little interbreeding; hence, races petiti, chalybea, blanfordi, antinorii, oleaginea, mangbettorum, orientalis and holomelas often treated as full species; further work required in order to assess relationships within the group. Additional proposed races include kosteri (Benguela, in W Angola), percivali (Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique) and bamingui (R Bamingui, in Central African Republic), but these are not clearly distinguishable. Twelve subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • petiti Sharpe & Bouvier, 1876 - E Nigeria, S Cameroon, Gabon and extreme NW Angola (Cabinda).
  • chalybea Reichenow, 1892 - N & C Cameroon E to Central African Republic, W Sudan and N & C DRCongo.
  • pristoptera (Rüppell, 1836) - W Highlands of N Ethiopia.

     See all 12 subspecies
  • petiti Sharpe & Bouvier, 1876 - E Nigeria, S Cameroon, Gabon and extreme NW Angola (Cabinda).
  • chalybea Reichenow, 1892 - N & C Cameroon E to Central African Republic, W Sudan and N & C DRCongo.
  • pristoptera (Rüppell, 1836) - W Highlands of N Ethiopia.
  • blanfordi Blundell & Lovat, 1899 - Highlands of WC Ethiopia.
  • antinorii Salvadori, 1884 - C & S Ethiopia.
  • oleaginea Neumann, 1904 - SW Ethiopia and SE Sudan.
  • mangbettorum Chapin, 1923 - S Sudan S to NE DRCongo.
  • ruwenzori Chapin, 1932 - E DRCongo.
  • reichenowi Neumann, 1904 - Angola, S DRCongo and Zambia.
  • massaica Neumann, 1904 - Kenya and N & C Tanzania.
  • orientalis Reichenow, 1889 - S Tanzania and E Zambia S to E Zimbabwe and C Mozambique.
  • holomelas (Sundevall, 1850) - S Zimbabwe and S Mozambique S to E & S South Africa.
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