Swifts (Apodidae)

Little Swift (Apus affinis) - HBW 5, p. 455

French: Martinet des maisons German: Stubbstjärtsegler Spanish: Vencejo Moro
Other common names: House Swift(!)

Taxonomy: Cypselus affinis J. E. Gray, 1830, Ganges.
Forms superspecies with A. nipalensis, with which often considered conspecific; separation based mainly on consistently shorter, less forked tail and broader rump band, combined with potential sympatry in Himalayas. Birds of sub-Saharan Africa formerly treated as race abessynicus [sic], and those of coastal Limpopo and Transkei as race gyratus. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • galilejensis (Antinori, 1855) - NW Africa E to Pakistan, and S of Sahara in E Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and NW Somalia.
  • aerobates Brooke, 1969 - Mauritania E to Somalia and S to Transkei (E South Africa).
  • bannermani Hartert, 1928 - Bioko, Príncipe and São Tomé, in Gulf of Guinea.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • galilejensis (Antinori, 1855) - NW Africa E to Pakistan, and S of Sahara in E Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and NW Somalia.
  • aerobates Brooke, 1969 - Mauritania E to Somalia and S to Transkei (E South Africa).
  • bannermani Hartert, 1928 - Bioko, Príncipe and São Tomé, in Gulf of Guinea.
  • theresae Meinertzhagen, 1949 - W & S Angola to S Zambia and S through S Africa.
  • affinis (J. E. Gray, 1830) - S Somalia to N Mozambique (including Zanzibar and Pemba), and E to India S of Himalayas and E of Pakistan; some birds winter in India and presumably Africa.
  • singalensis Madarász, 1911 - S India and Sri Lanka.