Frogmouths (Podargidae)

Horsfield's Frogmouth (Batrachostomus javensis) - HBW 5, p. 287

French: Podarge de Java German: Javafroschmaul Spanish: Podargo de Java
Other common names: Javan Frogmouth; Blyth’s Frogmouth (affinis); Indochinese Frogmouth (continentalis); Palawan Frogmouth (“chaseni”)

Taxonomy: Podargus Javensis Horsfield, 1821, Java.
Much confusion over species-limits with regard to this and its close allies. Formerly considered conspecific with B. cornutus by some, but a combined study of vocalizations and museum specimens in 1978 confirmed earlier suggestions that it should be regarded as a distinct species. Race affinis sometimes considered a distinct species. Sometimes treated as conspecific with B. hodgsoni, but differences in bill size and structure, development of facial bristles, relative tail length and vocalizations, and also perhaps in bare-part colours (bill said to be often more straw-col.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Podargus Javensis Horsfield, 1821, Java.
Much confusion over species-limits with regard to this and its close allies. Formerly considered conspecific with B. cornutus by some, but a combined study of vocalizations and museum specimens in 1978 confirmed earlier suggestions that it should be regarded as a distinct species. Race affinis sometimes considered a distinct species. Sometimes treated as conspecific with B. hodgsoni, but differences in bill size and structure, development of facial bristles, relative tail length and vocalizations, and also perhaps in bare-part colours (bill said to be often more straw-coloured), too great for them to be considered even as forming a superspecies. Race continentalis is apparently connected to affinis by an intermediate population around Khao I Phrom in C peninsular Thailand. Birds from Palawan, Culion I and Banggi I often separated as race chaseni, but appear inseparable from affinis; recent claim of a new species (B. pygmaeus) from Palawan (Basuanga I) seems unconvincing, the single specimen on which description is based being little different from local “chaseni” (= affinis). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • continentalis Stresemann, 1937 - SE Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and N, W & S Thailand (S to Nakhon Si Thammarat); also S Laos and C Vietnam (Annam).
  • affinis Blyth, 1847 - SE peninsular Thailand S to Sumatra and Riau Archipelago, then E through Borneo and Banggi I (off N Borneo) to W Philippines (Palawan, Culion I).
  • javensis (Horsfield, 1821) - Java.