Larks (Alaudidae)

Karoo Lark (Calendulauda albescens) - HBW 9, p. 560

French: Alouette du Karroo German: Karoolerche Spanish: Alondra del Karoo

Taxonomy: Alauda albescens Lafresnaye, 1839, Blouberg, Cape Town, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with C. burra, C. barlowi and C. erythrochlamys, and is basal within this group. Hybridizes with C. barlowi in NW of range (narrow zone between Port Nolloth and R Orange). Geographical variation marked in Northern Cape, with switch from coastal race codea to inland guttata remarkably sharp (complete replacement within a few kilometres) and few intermediates; otherwise, clinal variation between races broad in some areas; other named taxa are saldanhae, which is an intergrade between nominate and guttata, and calvin.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Alauda albescens Lafresnaye, 1839, Blouberg, Cape Town, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with C. burra, C. barlowi and C. erythrochlamys, and is basal within this group. Hybridizes with C. barlowi in NW of range (narrow zone between Port Nolloth and R Orange). Geographical variation marked in Northern Cape, with switch from coastal race codea to inland guttata remarkably sharp (complete replacement within a few kilometres) and few intermediates; otherwise, clinal variation between races broad in some areas; other named taxa are saldanhae, which is an intergrade between nominate and guttata, and calviniensis, which is intermediate between latter and karruensis. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • codea (A. Smith, 1843) - Port Nolloth S to Elands Bay, in NW South Africa.
  • albescens (Lafresnaye, 1839) - Saldanha Bay S to Cape Town.
  • guttata (Lafresnaye, 1839) - W parts (except coastal areas) of Northern Cape (S from Richtersveld) and Western Cape.
  • karruensis Roberts, 1936 - C Karoo.