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Thrushes (Turdidae)

Karoo Scrub-robin (Erythropygia coryphaeus) - HBW 10, p. 762

French: Agrobate coryphée German: Karroheckensänger Spanish: Alzacola del Karroo
Other common names: Cape Scrub-robin

Taxonomy: Sylvia coryphæus Vieillot, 1817, eastern Cape Province, South Africa.
Genus often merged into Cercotrichas. Differs from congeners (and Cercotrichas) in basic egg colour (blue, as opposed to white) and song, and nestling hatches with down feathers (rather than naked), perhaps suggesting that placement in its own monotypic genus may be appropriate. Recently claimed that original, and thus correct, spelling of species name is coryphoeus, but in old publications the two diphthongs are notoriously difficult to distinguish, as in this case; with such uncertainty, it seems best to stick with established usuage. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • coryphaeus ( Vieillot, 1817) - S Namibia, W & C South Africa (E to W Free State and Eastern Cape) and W Lesotho.
  • cinerea Macdonald, 1952 - SW Western Cape.