Drongos (Dicruridae)

Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) - HBW 14, p. 223

French: Drongo brillant German: Trauerdrongo Spanish: Drongo Ahorquillado
Other common names: African Drongo

Taxonomy: Corvus adsimilis Bechstein, 1794, Duiwenhok River, southern Cape, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with D. macrocercus and often treated as conspecific, but differs slightly in plumage and significantly in proportions and voice; close relationship between the two supported by recent DNA studies. Previously, D. fuscipennis, D. modestus, D. waldenii, D. forficatus and D. aldabranus thought to be part of same superspecies, but morphological and genetic differentiation considered too great to validate such a relationship. Race divaricatus intergrades with fugax in N Uganda and Kenya. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • divaricatus (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) - SW Mauritania, Senegambia and Guinea E in savanna belt to N Cameroon, S Chad, C & S Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, S to Central African Republic, N DRCongo, N Uganda and N Kenya.
  • apivorus Clancey, 1976 - SE Gabon and adjacent PRCongo, WC & S DRCongo, Angola, N & W Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and N South Africa (N Northern Cape E to N Limpopo).
  • fugax W. K. H. Peters, 1868 - Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania (including Zanzibar) S to E Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, E Botswana, NE South Africa (E Limpopo S to NE KwaZulu-Natal) and E Swaziland.
  • adsimilis (Bechstein, 1794) - W Swaziland, Lesotho lowlands, and E & S South Africa (S Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal S to SW Western Cape).