Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)

Cape Grass-warbler (Sphenoeacus afer) - HBW 11, p. 611

French: Sphénoèque du Cap German: Kapgrassänger Spanish: Yerbera de El Cabo
Other common names: (Cape) Grassbird

Taxonomy: Muscicapa afra J. F. Gmelin, 1789, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Has sometimes been linked in a superspecies with Melocichla mentalis and Achaetops pycnopygius, but the latter now classed as a babbler (Timaliidae) and the three species now thought not to be closely related. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • excisus Clancey, 1973 - E Zimbabwe highlands and adjacent Mozambique.
  • natalensis Shelley, 1882 - NE South Africa (Northern Province S to N & E Free State and KwaZulu-Natal), W Swaziland and N Lesotho.
  • intermedius Shelley, 1882 - E South Africa (extreme S KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape S to former Transkei); probably also S Lesotho.
  • afer (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - Western Cape and SW Eastern Cape (E to about R Gamtoos), in SW & S South Africa.