Shrikes (Laniidae)

Common Fiscal (Lanius collaris) - HBW 13, p. 792

French: Pie-grièche fiscale German: Fiskalwürger Spanish: Alcaudón Fiscal
Other common names: (Common) Fiscal Shrike, Long-tailed Pied Shrike; Latakoo/South-west African Fiscal (subcoronatus)

Taxonomy: Lanius collaris Linnaeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with L. newtoni and L. marwitzi, and all three formerly treated as conspecific. Differences between N races and S races in juvenile plumage, extent of sexual plumage dimorphism, visual displays, and possibly vocalizations suggest that two different species may be involved; further study required, especially involving molecular genetics; possible vocal differences appear minimal and perhaps local. Races intergrade in many areas, making taxonomic and geographical delimitation of forms sometimes uncertain. Race aridicolus closely allied to and .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Lanius collaris Linnaeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with L. newtoni and L. marwitzi, and all three formerly treated as conspecific. Differences between N races and S races in juvenile plumage, extent of sexual plumage dimorphism, visual displays, and possibly vocalizations suggest that two different species may be involved; further study required, especially involving molecular genetics; possible vocal differences appear minimal and perhaps local. Races intergrade in many areas, making taxonomic and geographical delimitation of forms sometimes uncertain. Race aridicolus closely allied to and often merged with subcoronatus, but geographically isolated in coastal dunes of Namib region. Other proposed races are predator (from near Ingwavuma, in NE KwaZulu-Natal), most often subsumed in nominate but sometimes considered a synonym of pyrrhostictus; vigilans (from near Kloof, in E Natal), synonymized with nominate; and dominator (from Muchinga Range, in SC Zambia), merged with capelli. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • smithii (Fraser, 1843) - S Mauritania (rare), S Mali (rare) and from S Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia E to Central African Republic, N PRCongo, SW Sudan and W Uganda.
  • humeralis Stanley, 1814 - C Eritrea, C & S Ethiopia, SE Sudan, E Uganda, W Kenya, Tanzania, N Malawi and N Mozambique; probably also NE Zambia.
  • capelli (Bocage, 1879) - S Gabon and S PRCongo E to S DRCongo, extreme SW Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, and S to Angola (except S), Zambia and N Botswana, possibly also extreme SW Tanzania and extreme NE Namibia.

     See all 7 subspecies
  • smithii (Fraser, 1843) - S Mauritania (rare), S Mali (rare) and from S Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia E to Central African Republic, N PRCongo, SW Sudan and W Uganda.
  • humeralis Stanley, 1814 - C Eritrea, C & S Ethiopia, SE Sudan, E Uganda, W Kenya, Tanzania, N Malawi and N Mozambique; probably also NE Zambia.
  • capelli (Bocage, 1879) - S Gabon and S PRCongo E to S DRCongo, extreme SW Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, and S to Angola (except S), Zambia and N Botswana, possibly also extreme SW Tanzania and extreme NE Namibia.
  • aridicolus Clancey, 1955 - SW Angola and NW Namibia (dune-fog zone of Namib Desert).
  • subcoronatus A. Smith, 1841 - extreme SE Angola, Namibia (excluding coastal NW and extreme S), Botswana, SW Zimbabwe and N South Africa (S to NW Northern Cape and C Free State).
  • pyrrhostictus Holub & Pelzeln, 1882 - extreme NE Botswana (around Basuto), S Zimbabwe (S of Harare), NE & E South Africa (Limpopo and Mpumalanga) and SW Mozambique (almost restricted to Gaza province).
  • collaris Linnaeus, 1766 - extreme S Namibia, S, C & E South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and extreme S Mozambique (Maputo).
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