Butcherbirds (Cracticidae)

Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor) - HBW 14, p. 341

French: Réveilleur cendré German: Rußwürgerkrähe Spanish: Verdugo Cenizo
Other common names: Common Currawong, Grey Bell-magpie/Crow-shrike; Brown Currawong (intermedia); Black-winged Currawong (melanoptera and halmaturina); Clinking Currawong (arguta)

Taxonomy: C[orvus] versicolor Latham, 1801, Sydney region, New South Wales, Australia.
Races very variable in plumage colour and pattern, and for a long time regarded as forming four separate species, one in SE South Australia (intermedia), one in mallee and scrublands of SW New South Wales S to Kangaroo I and extreme NW Victoria (melanoptera and halmaturina), one in Tasmania (arguta), and one covering rest of range (plumbea and nominate); races, however, intergrade wherever they come into contact with one another, and better treated as representing a single species. Thus, melanoptera intergrades with nominate from South Australia-Victo.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: C[orvus] versicolor Latham, 1801, Sydney region, New South Wales, Australia.
Races very variable in plumage colour and pattern, and for a long time regarded as forming four separate species, one in SE South Australia (intermedia), one in mallee and scrublands of SW New South Wales S to Kangaroo I and extreme NW Victoria (melanoptera and halmaturina), one in Tasmania (arguta), and one covering rest of range (plumbea and nominate); races, however, intergrade wherever they come into contact with one another, and better treated as representing a single species. Thus, melanoptera intergrades with nominate from South Australia-Victoria border E to Grampian Ranges in N and to Cape Otway in S; possible intergradation of plumbea with intermedia E through Great Victoria Desert uncertain but likely. Proposed race howei (described from Kow Plains, in NW) represents an intergrade population; centralia (from Everard Ranges, in NW South Australia) indistinguishable from plumbea. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • plumbea Gould, 1846 - from SW Western Australia (S from Geraldton) E, discontinuously, to extreme SW Northern Territory (Petermann Ranges) and W South Australia (Musgrave and Everard Ranges, and in Great Victoria Desert).
  • intermedia Sharpe, 1877 - South Australia from Ooldea E along coast (S of Nullarbor Plain) to Yorke Peninsula.
  • melanoptera Gould, 1846 - SE South Australia (S Flinders Ranges S to Fleurieu Peninsula and Mt Lofty Ranges) E to mallee areas of NW Victoria.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • plumbea Gould, 1846 - from SW Western Australia (S from Geraldton) E, discontinuously, to extreme SW Northern Territory (Petermann Ranges) and W South Australia (Musgrave and Everard Ranges, and in Great Victoria Desert).
  • intermedia Sharpe, 1877 - South Australia from Ooldea E along coast (S of Nullarbor Plain) to Yorke Peninsula.
  • melanoptera Gould, 1846 - SE South Australia (S Flinders Ranges S to Fleurieu Peninsula and Mt Lofty Ranges) E to mallee areas of NW Victoria.
  • halmaturina Mathews, 1912 - Kangaroo I, off South Australia.
  • versicolor ( Latham, 1801) - SE New South Wales (from Hunter R) S, inland to W slopes of Great Dividing Range, to W Victoria (Grampians and, on coast, to Port Phillip Bay).
  • arguta Gould, 1846 - E Tasmania (E of line joining Devonport and Hobart).