Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)

Olivaceous Warbler (Hippolais pallida) - HBW 11, p. 636

French: Hypolaïs pâle German: Blassspötter Spanish: Zarcero Pálido
Other common names: Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

Taxonomy: Curruca pallida Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833, the River Nile, in Egypt and Nubia.
Recent molecular-genetic studies suggest that this species and H. caligata, H. rama and H. opaca are closer to Acrocephalus than to current congeners and could be placed in a separate genus, Iduna. Was formerly regarded as conspecific with H. opaca, but recent work has demonstrated substantial differences between the two in mitochondrial DNA (more than 9%), song, behaviour and morphology, and treatment as separate species seems warranted. Race laeneni is poorly differentiated from, and perhaps better merged with, reiseri. Proposed race <.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Curruca pallida Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833, the River Nile, in Egypt and Nubia.
Recent molecular-genetic studies suggest that this species and H. caligata, H. rama and H. opaca are closer to Acrocephalus than to current congeners and could be placed in a separate genus, Iduna. Was formerly regarded as conspecific with H. opaca, but recent work has demonstrated substantial differences between the two in mitochondrial DNA (more than 9%), song, behaviour and morphology, and treatment as separate species seems warranted. Race laeneni is poorly differentiated from, and perhaps better merged with, reiseri. Proposed race tamariceti (breeding E from C Turkey and Middle East) is supposedly slightly paler above and shorter-billed than elaeica, but claimed differences have been found to be due to individual variation rather than geographical. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • elaeica (Lindermayer, 1843) - breeds SE Europe (Hungary, Romania E to S Ukraine, and Slovenia and Croatia S to Greece and Bulgaria), Turkey, Cyprus, W Syria S to N Israel and W Jordan, N & S Caucasus S to Iraq, W & N Iran, E Arabian Peninsula, and from SW & S Kazakhstan S to Uzbekistan, S Turkmenistan and probably N Afghanistan; non-breeding C & E Sahel region of Africa.
  • reiseri Hilgert, 1908 - breeds in desert habitats of interior Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, possibly also SE Morocco; non-breeding also S of Sahara Desert.
  • pallida (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833) - breeds W & N Egypt, S along R Nile possibly to N Sudan; non-breeding also Sudan E to Eritrea.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • elaeica (Lindermayer, 1843) - breeds SE Europe (Hungary, Romania E to S Ukraine, and Slovenia and Croatia S to Greece and Bulgaria), Turkey, Cyprus, W Syria S to N Israel and W Jordan, N & S Caucasus S to Iraq, W & N Iran, E Arabian Peninsula, and from SW & S Kazakhstan S to Uzbekistan, S Turkmenistan and probably N Afghanistan; non-breeding C & E Sahel region of Africa.
  • reiseri Hilgert, 1908 - breeds in desert habitats of interior Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, possibly also SE Morocco; non-breeding also S of Sahara Desert.
  • pallida (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833) - breeds W & N Egypt, S along R Nile possibly to N Sudan; non-breeding also Sudan E to Eritrea.
  • laeneni Niethammer, 1955 - C & SE Niger, Chad, N Nigeria, N Cameroon and W Sudan.
  • alulensis Ash et al., 2005 - coastal N Somalia.