Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) - HBW 9, p. 782

French: Bergeronnette citrine German: Zitronenstelze Spanish: Lavandera Cetrina
Other common names: Yellow-headed/Yellow-hooded Wagtail

Taxonomy: Motacilla citreola Pallas, 1776, Siberia.
Has been thought to form a superspecies with M. flava, or with that species together with M. capensis and M. flaviventris, but such relationships not supported by recent molecular-genetic studies. Recent research, using mitochondrial DNA, suggests that W race werae may represent a separate species, closer to SE Asian races of M. flava and distinct from nominate E race, which appears closer to NE races of latter; others, however, consider werae to be morphologically and vocally inseparable from nominate. Further study needed. Races intergrade. Proposed.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Motacilla citreola Pallas, 1776, Siberia.
Has been thought to form a superspecies with M. flava, or with that species together with M. capensis and M. flaviventris, but such relationships not supported by recent molecular-genetic studies. Recent research, using mitochondrial DNA, suggests that W race werae may represent a separate species, closer to SE Asian races of M. flava and distinct from nominate E race, which appears closer to NE races of latter; others, however, consider werae to be morphologically and vocally inseparable from nominate. Further study needed. Races intergrade. Proposed race quassitrix (described from S Russian Altai) considered indistinguishable from nominate, and sindzianicus (N Xinjiang, in NW China) from werae; weigoldi (from N Sichuan, in C China) synonymized with calcarata. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • citreola Pallas, 1776 - breeds N Europe (Finland, N Russia) E to C Siberia, Transbaikalia, Mongolia and NW Manchuria; winters mainly Indian Subcontinent, also SE Asia.
  • werae (Buturlin, 1907) - breeds E Europe (S Baltic Republics, E Poland), Belarus and Ukraine E to Russian Altai, N & E Kazakhstan and NW China (NW Xinjiang); winters Indian Subcontinent and SE Asia.
  • calcarata Hodgson, 1836 - breeds E Iran, Afghanistan, and C Asian mountains from Tien Shan E to C China (E to C Gansu and Sichuan) and S to N Himalayas; winters lowlands from S Afghanistan E to Myanmar.