Larks (Alaudidae)

Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla) - HBW 9, p. 583

French: Alouette calandrelle German: Kurzzehenlerche Spanish: Terrera Común
Other common names: (European) Short-toed Lark

Taxonomy: Alauda brachydactila [sic] Leisler, 1814, Montpellier, France.
May form a superspecies with C. cinerea, with which often merged, and with C. blanfordi, C. erlangeri and C. acutirostris. Geographical variation slight and clinal, generally becoming paler and greyer to E, more rufous and streaked above to W, but greatly complicated by strong influence of wear on plumage, considerable individual variation and lack of natural boundaries; described ranges of listed taxa somewhat arbitrary. Further, races artemisiana, hermonensis and woltersi all intergrade in S Turkey; birds from Ukraine are intermediate between.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Alauda brachydactila [sic] Leisler, 1814, Montpellier, France.
May form a superspecies with C. cinerea, with which often merged, and with C. blanfordi, C. erlangeri and C. acutirostris. Geographical variation slight and clinal, generally becoming paler and greyer to E, more rufous and streaked above to W, but greatly complicated by strong influence of wear on plumage, considerable individual variation and lack of natural boundaries; described ranges of listed taxa somewhat arbitrary. Further, races artemisiana, hermonensis and woltersi all intergrade in S Turkey; birds from Ukraine are intermediate between nominate race and longipennis, and those from Ural-Volga steppes, the Caucasus, E Iran and N Afghanistan between latter race and artemisiana. In addition, populations from E Altai and S Siberia have been separated as race orientalis and those from NW Manchuria as puii, but differences from typical longipennis seem to be minor. Validity of race hungarica sometimes disputed, mainly on grounds that tiny population is apparently boosted by periodic influxes from elsewhere. Eight subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • brachydactyla (Leisler, 1814) - breeds Europe from W, NC & S France and Iberia E (including many Mediterranean islands) to Italy, the Balkans and Romania (possibly to Ukraine and S Russia), apparently also in some parts of Mediterranean coast of NW Africa; winters Africa.
  • hungarica Horváth, 1956 - breeds Hungary and N Serbia (Vojvodina), possibly also S Slovakia.
  • rubiginosa Fromholz, 1913 - breeds NW Africa from Morocco and N Western Sahara E to NW Libya (W Tripolitania); also Malta.

     See all 8 subspecies
  • brachydactyla (Leisler, 1814) - breeds Europe from W, NC & S France and Iberia E (including many Mediterranean islands) to Italy, the Balkans and Romania (possibly to Ukraine and S Russia), apparently also in some parts of Mediterranean coast of NW Africa; winters Africa.
  • hungarica Horváth, 1956 - breeds Hungary and N Serbia (Vojvodina), possibly also S Slovakia.
  • rubiginosa Fromholz, 1913 - breeds NW Africa from Morocco and N Western Sahara E to NW Libya (W Tripolitania); also Malta.
  • hermonensis Tristram, 1865 - S Turkey and Syria S to NE Egypt (Sinai Peninsula).
  • woltersi Kumerloeve, 1969 - S Turkey (Amik Gölü, Gaziantep, Birecik) and adjacent extreme NW Syria.
  • artemisiana Banjkowski, 1913 - breeds Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Transcaucasia and Iran; winters mainly SW Asia.
  • longipennis (Eversmann, 1848) - breeds Ukraine and S Russia E to N Mongolia and NW Manchuria; winters mainly S Asia.
  • dukhunensis (Sykes, 1832) - breeds Tibet and C China; winters S Asia.