Woodhoopoes (Phoeniculidae)

Green Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus) - HBW 6, p. 429

French: Irrisor moqueur German: Baumhopf Spanish: Abubilla-arbórea Verde
Other common names: Red-billed Woodhoopoe

Taxonomy: Promerops purpureus J. F. Miller, 1784, India and Africa = Cape Province, South Africa.
Generally considered to form a superspecies with P. somaliensis and P. damarensis. All three sometimes treated as conspecific, which may be a more realistic treatment; more study needed. All races apparently intergrade in areas where boundaries meet; birds from W Uganda (ruwenzorae) and Natal (zuluensis) considered inseparable from marwitzi; erythrorhynchos is a synonym of nominate purpureus. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • guineensis (Reichenow, 1902) - N Senegal and Mali to N Ghana, Nigeria, Chad and Central African Republic.
  • senegalensis (Vieillot, 1822) - S Senegal and Gambia E to S Ghana.
  • niloticus (Neumann, 1903) - Sudan, W Ethiopia and NE Zaire.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • guineensis (Reichenow, 1902) - N Senegal and Mali to N Ghana, Nigeria, Chad and Central African Republic.
  • senegalensis (Vieillot, 1822) - S Senegal and Gambia E to S Ghana.
  • niloticus (Neumann, 1903) - Sudan, W Ethiopia and NE Zaire.
  • marwitzi (Reichenow, 1906) - E Uganda and Kenya S to C & E Natal; also extreme S Somalia (2 records).
  • angolensis (Reichenow, 1902) - Angola and Namibia E to W Zambia and W Zimbabwe.
  • purpureus (J. F. Miller, 1784) - Cape Province E to Transkei.