Thrushes (Turdidae)

Grey-winged Akalat (Sheppardia polioptera) - HBW 10, p. 734

French: Cossyphe à sourcils blancs German: Grauflügelrötel Spanish: Cosifa Aligrís
Other common names: Grey-winged Robin/Ground-robin, Grey-winged/Pygmy/White-browed Robin-chat

Taxonomy: Cossypha polioptera Reichenow, 1892, Bukoba, Lake Victoria, Tanzania.
Sometimes placed in Cossypha owing to behaviour, mimicry skills and egg coloration; placement in present genus based on plumage of juvenile, erectile supraocular tufts and unpatterned tail, and this supported by biomolecular study. Has also been placed in Dryocichloides. Proposed race grimwoodi (known only from type locality in Mwinilunga District, in N Zimbabwe) merged with nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • nigriceps (Reichenow, 1910) - Sierra Leone, N Liberia, W Ivory Coast, C & E Nigeria and adjacent C Cameroon.
  • tessmanni (Reichenow, 1921) - E Cameroon.
  • polioptera (Reichenow, 1892) - S Sudan, W & S Uganda, W Kenya, NW Tanzania, Burundi, NW & E Angola, extreme NW Zambia and S DRCongo.