Swifts (Apodidae)

Mottled Spinetail (Telecanthura ussheri) - HBW 5, p. 438

French: Martinet d'Ussher German: Baobabsegler Spanish: Vencejo de Baobab
Other common names: Ussher's/Mottle-throated Spinetail/Spinetailed Swift

Taxonomy: Chætura ussheri Sharpe, 1870, Ghana.
Genus formerly merged into Chaetura, or occasionally Rhaphidura. It has been suggested that present species may be better treated as two due to differences in plumage, structure and habitat, though precise situation of dividing line unclear. Proposed race marwitzi of Wemberere steppe, Tanzania, known only from type, and believed to represent aberrant individual of race stictilaema. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • ussheri (Sharpe, 1870) - broken range from Senegambia to Nigeria.
  • sharpei (Neumann, 1908) - Cameroon to Gabon, and Zaire E to Uganda.
  • stictilaema (Reichenow, 1879) - CE ­Africa, and recently also Zanzibar and Pemba I.
  • benguellensis (Neumann, 1908) - W Angola and SE Africa.

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