New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Long-tailed Meadowlark (Sturnella loyca) - HBW 16, p. 806

French: Sturnelle australe German: Langschwanzstärling Spanish: Loica Común
Other common names: Red-breasted Starling, Greater Red-breasted Meadowlark

Taxonomy: Sturnus loyca Molina, 1782, Chile.
Sometimes placed in a separate genus, Pezites, along with S. defilippii and S. bellicosa; formerly treated as conspecific with latter or both. Birds intermediate between nominate race and catamarcana said to occur in W Argentina, and range listed for latter below is tentative; more detailed study required. Geographical variation partly clinal; size appears to increase from N towards S and in Andean highlands. If present species and S. militaris [= Emberiza militaris Linnaeus, 1758] are treated in separate genera, present species reverts to its older sp.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Sturnus loyca Molina, 1782, Chile.
Sometimes placed in a separate genus, Pezites, along with S. defilippii and S. bellicosa; formerly treated as conspecific with latter or both. Birds intermediate between nominate race and catamarcana said to occur in W Argentina, and range listed for latter below is tentative; more detailed study required. Geographical variation partly clinal; size appears to increase from N towards S and in Andean highlands. If present species and S. militaris [= Emberiza militaris Linnaeus, 1758] are treated in separate genera, present species reverts to its older specific epithet, militaris [= Sturnus militaris Linnaeus, 1771], which has priority over loyca; as a result, present species has in some works been known as Sturnella militaris. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • catamarcana (Zotta, 1937) - local in highlands of NW Argentina (Jujuy and Salta S to La Rioja).
  • loyca (Molina, 1782) - Chile (S Atacama S to Cape Horn) and Argentina (San Juan, San Luis, Córdoba and Buenos Aires S to Tierra del Fuego).
  • obscura Nores & Yzurieta, 1979 - Sierras de Córdoba and San Luis, in C Argentina.
  • falklandica (Leverkühn, 1889) - Falkland Is.