Thrushes (Turdidae)

Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) - HBW 10, p. 781

French: Tarier pâtre German: Schwarzkehlchen Spanish: Tarabilla Común
Other common names: Collared Stonechat, Collared Bush Chat; European Stonechat (hibernans, rubicola); African Stonechat (Afrotropical races); Ethiopian Stonechat (albofasciatus); Siberian Stonechat (maurus)

Taxonomy: (Motacilla) torquata Linn aeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Has been considered conspecific with S. dacotiae, but morphological differences sufficient to warrant treatment as two separate species; has also been treated as conspecific with S. tectes and S. leucurus. Recently proposed that races form three distinct species, European S. rubicola (including race hibernans), Siberian S. maurus (including variegatus, armenicus, indicus, przewalskii and stejnegeri) and African S. torquatus (remaining races); extent to which these groups satisfy any criteria for species recogn.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: (Motacilla) torquata Linn aeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Has been considered conspecific with S. dacotiae, but morphological differences sufficient to warrant treatment as two separate species; has also been treated as conspecific with S. tectes and S. leucurus. Recently proposed that races form three distinct species, European S. rubicola (including race hibernans), Siberian S. maurus (including variegatus, armenicus, indicus, przewalskii and stejnegeri) and African S. torquatus (remaining races); extent to which these groups satisfy any criteria for species recognition, however, is unclear, and variation within groups is considerable. Alternatively, further splitting could be argued for, e.g. in the case of rather distinct and apparently parapatrically abutting forms indicus and przewalskii. Variation also exists within races, and several taxa may be unworthy of recognition while others may deserve reinstatement. Birds on Sicily included in rubicola, but most closely resemble maurus (hence a challenge to the splitting of latter), and have been named archimedes. Races adamauae (N & W Cameroon) and pallidigula (Cameroon Mountain and Bioko I) are treated as synonyms of salax, and altivagus is included in promiscuus. Racial affiliation of population recently found breeding in NW Thailand unknown. Twenty-four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • hibernans (Hartert, 1910) - Ireland, Britain, W France and W Iberian coast.
  • rubicola (Linnaeus, 1766) - W, C & S Europe, NW Africa, and Turkey E to W Caucasus area; non-breeding also N Africa E to Middle East.
  • variegatus (S. G. Gmelin, 1774) - E Caucasus area E to lower R Ural and S to NW Iran; non-breeding NE Africa.

     See all 24 subspecies
  • hibernans (Hartert, 1910) - Ireland, Britain, W France and W Iberian coast.
  • rubicola (Linnaeus, 1766) - W, C & S Europe, NW Africa, and Turkey E to W Caucasus area; non-breeding also N Africa E to Middle East.
  • variegatus (S. G. Gmelin, 1774) - E Caucasus area E to lower R Ural and S to NW Iran; non-breeding NE Africa.
  • armenicus Stegmann, 1935 - SE Turkey, Transcaucasia and SW Iran; non-breeding also SW Asia and NE Africa.
  • maurus (Pallas, 1773) - E Finland and N & E European Russia E to Mongolia, E Tien Shan and Pakistan; non-breeding SW & S Asia.
  • stejnegeri (Parrot, 1908) - E Siberia E to Anadyrland, S to E Mongolia, NE China, Korea and Japan; non-breeding E & SE Asia (S to Malay Peninsula).
  • indicus (Blyth, 1847) - NW & C Himalayas; non-breeding Pakistan and C India.
  • przewalskii (Pleske, 1889) - Tibetan Plateau E to C China, S to NE Myanmar and Indochina; non-breeding N & NE India E to SE China and SE Asia.
  • moptanus Bates, 1932 - Senegal Delta and S Mali (inner Niger Delta).
  • nebularum Bates, 1930 - Sierra Leone E to W Ivory Coast.
  • jebelmarrae Lynes, 1920 - E Chad and W Sudan (Darfur).
  • salax (J. Verreaux & E. Verreaux, 1851) - E Nigeria S to NW Angola, including Bioko I (Fernando Póo).
  • felix Bates, 1936 - SW Saudi Arabia and W Yemen.
  • albofasciatus Rüppell, 1845 - SE Sudan, Ethiopian Highlands and NE Uganda.
  • axillaris (Shelley, 1885) - E DRCongo E to Kenya and N & W Tanzania.
  • stonei Bowen, 1932 - SW Tanzania S to S & E Angola, NE Namibia, Botswana and N South Africa.
  • promiscuus Hartert, 1922 - S Tanzania S to E Zimbabwe and W Mozambique.
  • torquatus (Linnaeus, 1766) - South Africa (Northern Province S to SW Western Cape) and W Swaziland.
  • oreobates Clancey, 1956 - Lesotho Highlands.
  • clanceyi Latimer, 1961 - coastal Western Cape.
  • voeltzkowi Grote, 1926 - Grand Comoro (Njazidja), in Comoro Is.
  • sibilla (Linnaeus, 1766) - Madagascar (except N massif and C area).
  • tsaratananae Milon, 1951 - Tsaratanana Massif, in N Madagascar.
  • ankaratrae Salomonsen, 1934 - Ankaratra Massif and adjacent C part of W savannas, in C Madagascar.