Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Malachite Kingfisher (Alcedo cristata) - HBW 6, p. 234

French: Martin-pêcheur huppé German: Haubenzwergfischer Spanish: Martín Pescador Malaquita
Other common names: Diademed Kingfisher(!)

Taxonomy: Alcedo cristata Pallas, 1764, Cape of Good Hope.
Closely related to A. leucogaster and A. vintsioides, and sometimes placed with them in a separate genus Corythornis; forms a superspecies with A. vintsioides; also close to A. nais and A. thomensis, with both of which it has been regarded as conspecific. Racial divisions confused, and further work needed for clarification; recent works have listed three or four races, but with very divergent distributions for some of them; proposed forms robertsi and cyanostigma are synonyms of nominate. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • galerita P. L. S. Müller, 1776 - Senegal E to Ghana.
  • cristata Pallas, 1764 - Nigeria E to Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, and S to S Angola, N Namibia and Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
  • stuartkeithi (Dickerman, 1989) - Sudan (Blue Nile), Ethiopia and S Somalia; possibly resident also in E Yemen (2 records).

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