Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Coal Tit (Periparus ater) - HBW 12, p. 722

French: Mésange noire German: Tannenmeise Spanish: Carbonero Garrapinos

Taxonomy: Parus ater Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Until recently present genus normally subsumed into a broad Parus, and many authors still prefer that treatment. Forms a superspecies with P. melanolophus, and the two regularly hybridize in W Nepal; sometimes considered conspecific. Known to have hybridized also with Poecile montanus, Lophophanes cristatus and Parus major. Geographical variation well marked but complicated by high degree of local and individual variation within populations; furthermore, races intergrade in parts of range; ongoing genetic research suggests presence of a series of regional cl.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Parus ater Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Until recently present genus normally subsumed into a broad Parus, and many authors still prefer that treatment. Forms a superspecies with P. melanolophus, and the two regularly hybridize in W Nepal; sometimes considered conspecific. Known to have hybridized also with Poecile montanus, Lophophanes cristatus and Parus major. Geographical variation well marked but complicated by high degree of local and individual variation within populations; furthermore, races intergrade in parts of range; ongoing genetic research suggests presence of a series of regional clusters across range. Additional proposed races are pinicolus (described from Scotland), synonymized with britannicus;and abietum (from W & C mainland Europe), rossosibiricus (C Russia from Moscow E to about L Baikal) and amurensis (Amurland, Ussuriland, Sakhalin), all merged with nominate. Recently described eckodedicatus (Gansu, Sichuan, Shaanxi, N Yunnan) morphologically almost identical to aemodius; probably merits separation, on basis of genetic differences. Twenty-one subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • britannicus (Sharpe & Dresser, 1871) - Great Britain and extreme NE Ireland.
  • hibernicus (Ogilvie-Grant, 1910) - Ireland.
  • ater (Linnaeus, 1758) - N, C & E Europe, W & S Asia Minor, N Syria and Lebanon, and Siberia E to Sakhalin, and S to Altai, N Mongolia, NE China (Manchuria E to E Liaoning) and Korea.

     See all 21 subspecies
  • britannicus (Sharpe & Dresser, 1871) - Great Britain and extreme NE Ireland.
  • hibernicus (Ogilvie-Grant, 1910) - Ireland.
  • ater (Linnaeus, 1758) - N, C & E Europe, W & S Asia Minor, N Syria and Lebanon, and Siberia E to Sakhalin, and S to Altai, N Mongolia, NE China (Manchuria E to E Liaoning) and Korea.
  • vieirae (Nicholson, 1906) - Iberian Peninsula.
  • sardus (O. Kleinschmidt, 1903) - Corsica and Sardinia.
  • atlas (Meade-Waldo, 1901) - Morocco.
  • ledouci (Malherbe, 1845) - N Algeria and NW Tunisia.
  • moltchanovi (Menzbier, 1903) - S Crimea.
  • cypriotes (Dresser, 1888) - Cyprus.
  • derjugini Zarudny & Loudon, 1903 - SW Caucasus S to NE Turkey.
  • michalowskii (Bogdanov, 1879) - Caucasus (except SW) and C & E Transcaucasia.
  • gaddi Zarudny, 1911 - SE Azerbaijan and N Iran.
  • chorassanicus (Zarudny & Bilkevitch, 1911) - SW Turkmenia and NE Iran.
  • phaeonotus (Blanford, 1873) - SW Iran (Zagros Mts).
  • rufipectus (Severtsov, 1873) - C & E Tien Shan from extreme SE Kazakhstan E to extreme NW China (W Xinjiang).
  • martensi (Eck, 1998) - Kali Gandaki valley, in C Nepal.
  • aemodius (Blyth, 1845) - E Himalayas (from C Nepal), C China (S Gansu & S Shaanxi S to S Xizang and NW Yunnan) and N & E Myanmar.
  • pekinensis (David, 1870) - E China (S Liaoning S to N Shanxi, Hebei and Shandong).
  • kuatunensis (La Touche, 1923) - SE China (S Anhui S to NW Fujian).
  • insularis (Hellmayr, 1902) - S Kuril Is and Japan.
  • ptilosus (Ogilvie-Grant, 1912) - Taiwan.