Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Eastern Olive-Sunbird (Cyanomitra olivacea) - HBW 13, p. 260

French: Souimanga olivâtre German: Olivnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga Oliváceo Oriental
Other common names: Olive/Olive-coloured Sunbird

Taxonomy: Cinnyris olivaceus A. Smith, 1840, Kafirland eastward toward Port Natal = Durban, South Africa.
Genus formerly subsumed in Nectarinia. Probably forms a superspecies with C. obscura. Formerly regarded as conspecific, but separated initially on basis that females of latter lack pectoral tufts; although some female C. obscura do have pectoral tufts (albeit white, wispy insignificant ones), and conspecificity supported by analyses of mitochondrial DNA, treatment as separate species nevertheless considered justified, as the two differ in vocalizations and in egg patterning, and yellow pectoral tufts extremely rare (if they occur at all) in female C. obscura. Recen.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Cinnyris olivaceus A. Smith, 1840, Kafirland eastward toward Port Natal = Durban, South Africa.
Genus formerly subsumed in Nectarinia. Probably forms a superspecies with C. obscura. Formerly regarded as conspecific, but separated initially on basis that females of latter lack pectoral tufts; although some female C. obscura do have pectoral tufts (albeit white, wispy insignificant ones), and conspecificity supported by analyses of mitochondrial DNA, treatment as separate species nevertheless considered justified, as the two differ in vocalizations and in egg patterning, and yellow pectoral tufts extremely rare (if they occur at all) in female C. obscura. Recent re-examination of specimens reveals that possibility of sympatry of the two species on Zanzibar is unfounded. Additional proposed races are chyulu (described from Chyulu Mts, in S Kenya), which is merged with neglecta, puguensis (Mafia I, off N Tanzania), synonymized with changamwensis, intercalans (Fort Jameson, in Eastern Province of Zambia), included in alfredi, and daviesi (Pondoland, in coastal E South Africa), considered indistinguishable from nominate. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • changamwensis Mearns, 1910 - S Somalia and coastal SE Kenya and E Tanzania (inland to Taita, Usambaras, Pugu Hills and S Pare Mts), Zanzibar and Mafia I.
  • neglecta Neumann, 1900 - SC Kenya S to NE Tanzania.
  • alfredi Vincent, 1934 - S Tanzania, E Zambia, Malawi and N Mozambique.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • changamwensis Mearns, 1910 - S Somalia and coastal SE Kenya and E Tanzania (inland to Taita, Usambaras, Pugu Hills and S Pare Mts), Zanzibar and Mafia I.
  • neglecta Neumann, 1900 - SC Kenya S to NE Tanzania.
  • alfredi Vincent, 1934 - S Tanzania, E Zambia, Malawi and N Mozambique.
  • olivacina (W. K. H. Peters, 1881) - coastal areas of SE Tanzania, Mozambique and NE South Africa (NE KwaZulu-Natal).
  • olivacea (A. Smith, 1840) - S KwaZulu-Natal S to NE Eastern Cape (Pondoland), in E South Africa.
  •      No sound recordings available yet