Starlings (Sturnidae)

Chestnut-tailed Starling (Sturnia malabarica) - HBW 14, p. 731

French: Étourneau à tête grise German: Graukopfstar Spanish: Estornino Malabar
Other common names: Grey-headed/Ashy-headed Starling/Myna; Blyth's/Malabar White-headed Starling/Myna (blythii)

Taxonomy: Turdus malabaricus J. F. Gmelin, 1789, Malabar coast, India.
Genus often subsumed into Sturnus. Distinctive race blythii has sometimes been treated as a separate species on basis of plumage, proportions, sexual dimorphism, and vocal differences; claims of intergradation have been disputed. Proposed race assamica (described from Naga Hills, in NE India) synonymized with nemoricola. Type locality of species falls outside breeding range of nominate race and instead within range of race blythii, but in non-breeding season both forms can co-occur in this region; name presumably based on a visiting specimen. Three subspecie.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Turdus malabaricus J. F. Gmelin, 1789, Malabar coast, India.
Genus often subsumed into Sturnus. Distinctive race blythii has sometimes been treated as a separate species on basis of plumage, proportions, sexual dimorphism, and vocal differences; claims of intergradation have been disputed. Proposed race assamica (described from Naga Hills, in NE India) synonymized with nemoricola. Type locality of species falls outside breeding range of nominate race and instead within range of race blythii, but in non-breeding season both forms can co-occur in this region; name presumably based on a visiting specimen. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • malabarica ( J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - N India (foothills in Himachal Pradesh) E to NE Arunachal Pradesh (Mishmi Hills) and N Assam, S to Orissa; occurs in remainder of peninsula, but status uncertain.
  • blythii ( Jerdon, 1845) - SW India (from S Maharashtra S to Kerala).
  • nemoricola Jerdon, 1862 - NE India (S Assam) E to Myanmar, S China, Thailand and Indochina.