Drongos (Dicruridae)

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) - HBW 14, p. 211

French: Drongo à raquettes German: Flaggendrongo Spanish: Drongo de Raquetas Grande
Other common names: Large Racquet-tailed Drongo; Northern Large Racquet-tailed Drongo (grandis); Southern Large Racquet-tailed Drongo (paradiseus); Ceylon Large Racquet-tailed Drongo (ceylonicus); Andaman Racquet-tailed Drongo (otiosus); Nicobar Racquet-tailed Drongo (nicobariensis)

Taxonomy: Cuculus paradiseus Linnaeus, 1766, Thailand.
In the past sometimes placed in genus Dissemurus. May form a superspecies with D. lophorinus; often treated as conspecific, but differs in tail morphology and probably in voice. Molecular-genetic studies required in order to elucidate true relationship between the two. Few intergrades between Sri Lanka race ceylonicus and D. lophorinus reported in past along border between wet and dry zones, but interbreeding not now possible, since suitable habitat no longer remains between the two ecological zones, now completely separated. Geographical variation based mainly on .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Cuculus paradiseus Linnaeus, 1766, Thailand.
In the past sometimes placed in genus Dissemurus. May form a superspecies with D. lophorinus; often treated as conspecific, but differs in tail morphology and probably in voice. Molecular-genetic studies required in order to elucidate true relationship between the two. Few intergrades between Sri Lanka race ceylonicus and D. lophorinus reported in past along border between wet and dry zones, but interbreeding not now possible, since suitable habitat no longer remains between the two ecological zones, now completely separated. Geographical variation based mainly on biometrics, but exhibits parallel clinal decrease in size from N to S in both W & E parts of range. Race rangoonensis intergrades with grandis in N and with nominate in S; birds from C & S India described as race malabaricus, but considered intermediates; hypoballus intergrades with nominate in N of its range and with platurus in S; proposed race adelphus (from Nias I), described on basis solely of difference in wing measurements, synonymized with platurus; island races (including those in Borneo) very similar to one another. Further studies would probably lead to reduction in number of accepted races. Thirteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • grandis ( Gould, 1836) - S foothills of Himalayas from N India (Kumaon) E to extreme N Assam, N Myanmar (S to N Chin Hills and N Shan States), S China (extreme SE Xizang, W & S Yunnan) and N Indochina.
  • rangoonensis ( Gould, 1836) - C India, Bangladesh, C & S Myanmar (S Chin Hills, S Shan States S to N Tenasserim), N & NE Thailand, C Laos and C Vietnam.
  • paradiseus ( Linnaeus, 1766) - S peninsular India, S Myanmar (Tenasserim and Mergui Archipelago), SW, C & SE Thailand and S Indochina.

     See all 13 subspecies
  • grandis ( Gould, 1836) - S foothills of Himalayas from N India (Kumaon) E to extreme N Assam, N Myanmar (S to N Chin Hills and N Shan States), S China (extreme SE Xizang, W & S Yunnan) and N Indochina.
  • rangoonensis ( Gould, 1836) - C India, Bangladesh, C & S Myanmar (S Chin Hills, S Shan States S to N Tenasserim), N & NE Thailand, C Laos and C Vietnam.
  • paradiseus ( Linnaeus, 1766) - S peninsular India, S Myanmar (Tenasserim and Mergui Archipelago), SW, C & SE Thailand and S Indochina.
  • ceylonicus Vaurie, 1949 - N, E & S Sri Lanka.
  • otiosus ( Richmond, 1902) - Andaman Is.
  • nicobariensis ( Stuart Baker, 1918) - Nicobar Is.
  • johni (E. J. O. Hartert, 1902) - Hainan I (S China).
  • hypoballus ( Oberholser, 1926) - Malay Peninsula (except S).
  • platurus Vieillot, 1817 - Peninsular Malaysia S of 4° N (including islands except Tioman I), Sumatra (including Simeulue, Banyak Is and Nias I), Riau Archipelago, Lingga Archipelago and Bangka I.
  • microlophus (Oberholser, 1917) - islands in S China Sea (Tioman I, Anambas Is and N Natunas).
  • banguey ( Chasen & Kloss, 1929) - Balambangan I and Banggi I, off N Borneo coast.
  • brachyphorus ( Bonaparte, 1850) - Borneo, including Laut I (off SE coast).
  • formosus ( Cabanis, 1851) - Java and Bali.