Butcherbirds (Cracticidae)

Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) - HBW 14, p. 337

French: Cassican à collier German: Graurücken-Metzgervogel Spanish: Verdugo Acollarado
Other common names: Australian/Collared/White-winged (Grey) Butcherbird, Collared Crow-shrike, Clouded/Grey Shrike; Silver-backed Butcherbird (argenteus and colletti); Tasmanian Butcherbird (cinereus)

Taxonomy: L[anius] torquatus Latham, 1801, coastal south-east Australia.
This species and C. mentalis, which form a superspecies, have sometimes been placed in a separate genus, Bulestes. Races argenteus and colletti sometimes treated as a separate species, geographically separated from other races by significant desert barriers, and possibly at least as close to C. mentalis as to present species; argenteus shares some characters with present species and others with C. mentalis; further study, including molecular analysis, required in order to resolve true relationships. Race colletti often included wi.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: L[anius] torquatus Latham, 1801, coastal south-east Australia.
This species and C. mentalis, which form a superspecies, have sometimes been placed in a separate genus, Bulestes. Races argenteus and colletti sometimes treated as a separate species, geographically separated from other races by significant desert barriers, and possibly at least as close to C. mentalis as to present species; argenteus shares some characters with present species and others with C. mentalis; further study, including molecular analysis, required in order to resolve true relationships. Race colletti often included within argenteus, but seems reasonably distinctive. Nominate race intergrades with leucopterus on W slopes of Great Dividing Range from S Queensland S to Otway Range, in Victoria. Proposed race latens (Uwins I, in N Western Australia) is a synonym of argenteus. Type locality of taxon argenteus is disputed; if this name is instead applicable to Arnhem Land form, Western Australian form then takes name latens. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • argenteus Gould, 1841 - Western Australia (Kimberley region E from Yampi Sound and mouth of Fitzroy R) and marginally NW Northern Territory (E to mouth of Victoria R), S to Great Sandy Desert.
  • colletti Mathews, 1912 - coastal Northern Territory from Victoria R almost to E tip of Arnhem Land, S to N Tanami Desert in W.
  • leucopterus Gould, 1848 - S half of Australia S of 20° S (except for desert areas of Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and W half of Queensland), in E extending N in E Queensland (W of Great Dividing Range) towards S Cape York Peninsula.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • argenteus Gould, 1841 - Western Australia (Kimberley region E from Yampi Sound and mouth of Fitzroy R) and marginally NW Northern Territory (E to mouth of Victoria R), S to Great Sandy Desert.
  • colletti Mathews, 1912 - coastal Northern Territory from Victoria R almost to E tip of Arnhem Land, S to N Tanami Desert in W.
  • leucopterus Gould, 1848 - S half of Australia S of 20° S (except for desert areas of Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and W half of Queensland), in E extending N in E Queensland (W of Great Dividing Range) towards S Cape York Peninsula.
  • torquatus ( Latham, 1801) - coastal SE Queensland S (mainly E & S of Great Dividing Range) to Victoria.
  • cinereus ( Gould, 1837) - Tasmania.