Whydahs and Indigobirds (Viduidae)

Cuckoo Finch (Anomalospiza imberbis) - HBW 15, p. 219

French: Anomalospize parasite German: Kuckuckswitwe Spanish: Viuda Anómala
Other common names: Cuckoo/Parasitic Weaver, Yellow Swamp Finch, Canary-like Bishop Finch

Taxonomy: Crithagra imberbis Cabanis, 1868, "East Africa" = Zanzibar.
First described as a canary (Fringillidae), then placed in weaverbird family (Ploceidae), and then united with some weaverbirds (those with short outer primary and sexually dimorphic plumage) in a subfamily Viduinae of the waxbill family (Estrildidae); regarded as a ploceid through most of 20th century, but recent studies of morphology and molecular genetics indicate close relationship with Vidua. Races intergrade and poorly defined, with no constant distinction in size and plumage, and species sometimes treated as monotypic; also, individual variation in size apparent. Proposed race <.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Crithagra imberbis Cabanis, 1868, "East Africa" = Zanzibar.
First described as a canary (Fringillidae), then placed in weaverbird family (Ploceidae), and then united with some weaverbirds (those with short outer primary and sexually dimorphic plumage) in a subfamily Viduinae of the waxbill family (Estrildidae); regarded as a ploceid through most of 20th century, but recent studies of morphology and molecular genetics indicate close relationship with Vidua. Races intergrade and poorly defined, with no constant distinction in size and plumage, and species sometimes treated as monotypic; also, individual variation in size apparent. Proposed race tibatiensis (described from W Africa) subsumed in butleri, and macmillani (from Ethiopia), makandakunae (W Zambia) and nyasae (Malawi) synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • butleri W. L. Sclater & Mackworth-Praed, 1918 - Gambia, S Mali (inner R Niger Delta), Sierra Leone and Liberia E patchily to Nigeria and Cameroon; S Sudan and NE DRCongo (Uele).
  • imberbis ( Cabanis, 1868) - patchily in Ethiopia, E Africa, S DRCongo (Kasai, Katanga) and N & SE Angola S to N & E South Africa.

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