Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Moluccan Scops-owl (Otus magicus) - HBW 5, p. 165

French: Petit-duc mystérieux German: Molukken-Zwergohreule Spanish: Autillo Moluqueño
Other common names: Mysterious/Insular Scops-owl

Taxonomy: Strix magica S. Müller, 1841, Ambon (South Moluccas).
Probably forms superspecies with O. mantananensis, the two being closely allied to the O. manadensis superspecies. Sometimes considered conspecific with O. manadensis, or variously to include O. beccarii, O. enganensis and O. insularis as races, but all shown to be morphologically and/or vocally distinct; more­over, O. alfredi recently treated as a rufous morph of race albiventris of present species, but shown by morphological study to be distinct and separate species. Classification and true affinities of Otus taxa in SE Asia.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Strix magica S. Müller, 1841, Ambon (South Moluccas).
Probably forms superspecies with O. mantananensis, the two being closely allied to the O. manadensis superspecies. Sometimes considered conspecific with O. manadensis, or variously to include O. beccarii, O. enganensis and O. insularis as races, but all shown to be morphologically and/or vocally distinct; more­over, O. alfredi recently treated as a rufous morph of race albiventris of present species, but shown by morphological study to be distinct and separate species. Classification and true affinities of Otus taxa in SE Asia, particularly island forms, highly complex and still debatable, and relationship between present species and O. manadensis confused: forms siaoensis, mendeni, kalidupae and sulaensis currently included in latter, but some or all sometimes placed with present species; current arrangement highly tentative, and further research required. Also, described races leucospilus and obira have been thought possibly synonyms of nominate race of present species, though at least the former distinct enough. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • morotensis (Sharpe, 1875) - Morotai, Ternate.
  • leucospilus (G. R. Gray, 1860) - Halmahera, Kasiruta, Bacan.
  • obira Jany, 1955 - Obi Is.

     See all 7 subspecies
  • morotensis (Sharpe, 1875) - Morotai, Ternate.
  • leucospilus (G. R. Gray, 1860) - Halmahera, Kasiruta, Bacan.
  • obira Jany, 1955 - Obi Is.
  • magicus (S. Müller, 1841) - Seram, Ambon.
  • bouruensis (Sharpe, 1875) - Buru.
  • albiventris (Sharpe, 1875) - Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Lomblen.
  • tempestatis (Hartert, 1904) - Wetar.