Thrushes (Turdidae)

Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus) - HBW 10, p. 649

French: Merle des îles German: Südseedrossel Spanish: Zorzal Insular
Other common names: New Guinea Blackbird (papuensis); Goodenough Island Blackbird (canescens); Vinous-tinted Blackbird (xanthopus)

Taxonomy: Turdus poliocephalus Latham, 1801, Norfolk Island.
Taxonomy highly complex. Races group into four morphological types, but attempts to “tease out” taxa or groups as separate species largely frustrated by irregular distributions of taxa with allied characters. Highly distinctive Taiwanese race niveiceps, although clearly allied to present species, possibly best candidate for species status, being the only race with pronounced sexual dimorphism, and much the most N outlier. Proposed race biesenbachi (from Mount Papandajan, in W Java) considered not reliably distinguishable from fumidus. Two additional populations, as ye.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Turdus poliocephalus Latham, 1801, Norfolk Island.
Taxonomy highly complex. Races group into four morphological types, but attempts to “tease out” taxa or groups as separate species largely frustrated by irregular distributions of taxa with allied characters. Highly distinctive Taiwanese race niveiceps, although clearly allied to present species, possibly best candidate for species status, being the only race with pronounced sexual dimorphism, and much the most N outlier. Proposed race biesenbachi (from Mount Papandajan, in W Java) considered not reliably distinguishable from fumidus. Two additional populations, as yet undescribed, apparently exist in C & E Sulawesi. Races mareensis (Maré, in Loyalty Is) and vinitinctus (Lord Howe I) extinct. Forty-nine extant subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • loeseri Meyer de Schauensee, 1939 - N Sumatra.
  • indrapurae Robinson & Kloss, 1916 - SC Sumatra.
  • fumidus Statius Muller, 1844 - Mt Papandajan, Mt Pangrango and Mt Gedeh, in W Java.

     See all 49 subspecies
  • loeseri Meyer de Schauensee, 1939 - N Sumatra.
  • indrapurae Robinson & Kloss, 1916 - SC Sumatra.
  • fumidus Statius Muller, 1844 - Mt Papandajan, Mt Pangrango and Mt Gedeh, in W Java.
  • erythropleurus Sharpe, 1887 - Christmas I, S of W Java.
  • javanicus Horsfield, 1821 - mountains of C Java.
  • stresemanni M. Bartels, Jr, 1938 - Mt Lawu, in EC Java.
  • whiteheadi (Seebohm, 1893) - mountains of E Java.
  • niveiceps (Hellmayr, 1919) - Taiwan.
  • thomassoni (Seebohm, 1894) - N Philippines (N Luzon).
  • mayonensis (Mearns, 1907) - S Luzon.
  • mindorensis Ogilvie-Grant, 1896 - Mindoro (NC Philippines).
  • nigrorum Ogilvie-Grant, 1896 - Negros (SC Philippines).
  • malindangensis (Mearns, 1907) - Mt Malindang, in NW Mindanao (S Philippines).
  • katanglad Salomonsen, 1953 - C Mindanao.
  • kelleri (Mearns, 1905) - Mt Apo, in SE Mindanao.
  • seebohmi (Sharpe, 1888) - N Borneo (mountains of Kinabalu, Trus Madi and Tambuyukon).
  • hygroscopus Stresemann, 1931 - S Sulawesi.
  • celebensis (Büttikofer, 1893) - SW Sulawesi.
  • schlegelii P. L. Sclater, 1861 - W Timor.
  • sterlingi Mayr, 1944 - Timor Leste (E Timor).
  • deningeri Stresemann, 1912 - Seram.
  • versteegi Junge, 1939 - mountains of W New Guinea.
  • carbonarius Mayr & Gilliard, 1951 - mountains of EC New Guinea.
  • keysseri Mayr, 1931 - mountains of Huon Peninsula, in NE New Guinea.
  • papuensis (De Vis, 1890) - mountains of SE New Guinea.
  • tolokiwae Diamond, 1989 - Tolokiwa I, in Bismarck Archipelago; reportedly also New Britain.
  • beehleri Ripley, 1977 - New Ireland.
  • heinrothi Rothschild & Hartert, 1924 - St Matthias.
  • canescens (De Vis, 1894) - Goodenough I, in D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago.
  • bougainvillei Mayr, 1941 - Bougainville I.
  • kulambangrae Mayr, 1941 - Kolombangara I, in C Solomons.
  • sladeni Cain & Galbraith, 1955 - Guadalcanal.
  • rennellianus Mayr, 1931 - Rennell I, in S Solomons.
  • vanikorensis Quoy & Gaimard, 1830 - Santa Cruz Is (Utupua, Vanikoro) and N Vanuatu (Espíritu Santo, Malo).
  • placens Mayr, 1941 - Ureparapara and Vanua Lava, in Banks Group.
  • whitneyi Mayr, 1941 - Gaua I, in Banks Group.
  • malekulae Mayr, 1941 - Pentecost, Malekula and Ambrym, in Vanuatu.
  • becki Mayr, 1941 - Paama, Lopevi, Epi and Emae, in Vanuatu.
  • efatensis Mayr, 1941 - Efate and Nguna, in Vanuatu.
  • albifrons (E. P. Ramsay, 1879) - Erromanga, in Vanuatu.
  • pritzbueri E. L. Layard, 1878 - Tanna (in Vanuatu).
  • xanthopus J. R. Forster, 1844 - New Caledonia (apparently surviving only on Yandé).
  • poliocephalus Latham, 1801 - Norfolk I (probably extinct).
  • layardi (Seebohm, 1891) - W Fiji (Viti Levu, Ovalau, Yasawa, Koro).
  • ruficeps (E. P. Ramsay, 1876) - Kadavu, in S Fiji.
  • vitiensis E. L. Layard, 1876 - Vanua Levu, in E Fiji.
  • hades Mayr, 1941 - Gau, in E Fiji.
  • tempesti E. L. Layard, 1876 - Taveuni, in E Fiji.
  • samoensis Tristram, 1879 - Samoa (Savaii, Upolu).