Batises and Wattle-eyes (Platysteiridae)

Cape Batis (Batis capensis) - HBW 11, p. 186

French: Pririt du Cap German: Kapschnäpper Spanish: Batis de El Cabo
Other common names: Puff-back Flycatcher; Malawi Batis (sola, dimorpha)

Taxonomy: Muscicapa capensis Linnaeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with B. reichenowi, B. mixta, B. crypta and B. fratrum, probably also with B. margaritae and B. diops. Sometimes considered conspecific with B. reichenowi. Along with latter, races dimorpha and sola regarded by some authors as intergrades with B. mixta, or as races of a separate species (male plumage differences greater than those between several reputedly “good” species); further study required. Further, nominate race and hollidayi possibly overlap geographically in E South Africa (KwaZulu-N.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Muscicapa capensis Linnaeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with B. reichenowi, B. mixta, B. crypta and B. fratrum, probably also with B. margaritae and B. diops. Sometimes considered conspecific with B. reichenowi. Along with latter, races dimorpha and sola regarded by some authors as intergrades with B. mixta, or as races of a separate species (male plumage differences greater than those between several reputedly “good” species); further study required. Further, nominate race and hollidayi possibly overlap geographically in E South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), indicating that latter may represent a separate species. Population on Mt Namuli, in N Mozambique, currently placed in dimorpha, but may represent a separate, as yet undescribed race. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • sola Lawson, 1964 - N Malawi and, locally, Zambia (Nyika Plateau, Mukuta and Mafinga Mts).
  • dimorpha (Shelley, 1893) - mountains of C & S Malawi, and adjacent N Mozambique (Mt Namuli).
  • kennedyi Smithers & Paterson, 1956 - Matopo Hills, in SW Zimbabwe.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • sola Lawson, 1964 - N Malawi and, locally, Zambia (Nyika Plateau, Mukuta and Mafinga Mts).
  • dimorpha (Shelley, 1893) - mountains of C & S Malawi, and adjacent N Mozambique (Mt Namuli).
  • kennedyi Smithers & Paterson, 1956 - Matopo Hills, in SW Zimbabwe.
  • erythrophthalma Swynnerton, 1907 - E highlands of Zimbabwe and adjacent Mozambique.
  • hollidayi Clancey, 1952 - NE South Africa (S from Soutpansberg), Swaziland and adjacent S Mozambique (Lebombo Highlands).
  • capensis (Linnaeus, 1766) - S South Africa (Western Cape E to W Kwazulu-Natal) and E Lesotho.