Larks (Alaudidae)

Cape Clapper Lark (Mirafra apiata) - HBW 9, p. 552

French: Alouette bateleuse German: Grasklapperlerche Spanish: Alondra Aplaudidora de El Cabo
Other common names: Bar-tailed Lark(!); Agulhas Clapper Lark (marjoriae)

Taxonomy: Alauda apiata Vieillot, 1816, Swartland = Malmesbury, Western Cape, South Africa.
In the past, has usually been treated as conspecific with M. fasciolata; the two were recently resplit on basis of plumage, morphology, display and genetic differences; boundary between the two species in Eastern Cape requires investigation. Race marjoriae also genetically distinct, but plumage differences from nominate slight; further study needed. Nominate shows clinal variation in overall coloration, from generally more rufous birds in extreme W South Africa (proposed race adendorffi) towards darker birds in S, but these extremes virtually matched by notable individual.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Alauda apiata Vieillot, 1816, Swartland = Malmesbury, Western Cape, South Africa.
In the past, has usually been treated as conspecific with M. fasciolata; the two were recently resplit on basis of plumage, morphology, display and genetic differences; boundary between the two species in Eastern Cape requires investigation. Race marjoriae also genetically distinct, but plumage differences from nominate slight; further study needed. Nominate shows clinal variation in overall coloration, from generally more rufous birds in extreme W South Africa (proposed race adendorffi) towards darker birds in S, but these extremes virtually matched by notable individual variation at any one site. Proposed race algoensis (Port Elizabeth area) very similar to nominate, and not reliably separable, especially in view of marked individual variation within nominate. Two subspecies recognized

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • apiata (Vieillot, 1816) - SW Namibia and W coastal plain and interior of South Africa (Northern Cape and Western Cape E to Grahamstown).
  • marjoriae Winterbottom, 1956 - coastal plain of Western Cape (from Cape Town E to Knysna).

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