Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Pharaoh Eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus) - HBW 5, p. 187

French: Grand-duc du désert German: Wüstenuhu Spanish: Búho Desértico
Other common names: Desert/Savigny’s Eagle-owl

Taxonomy: Bubo Ascalaphus Savigny, 1809, Upper Egypt.
Forms superspecies with B. bubo and B. bengalensis, with B. virginianus (including recently separated B. magellanicus) and B. capensis sometimes considered part of same group. Formerly treated as conspecific with B. bubo; separation based mainly on vocalizations, and partly morphology, but DNA evidence not conclusive; also, appears to intergrade with B. bubo in parts of Middle East, suggesting that conspecificity perhaps possible; on other hand, some range overlap without known intermediates with B. bubo race hispanus in NW Africa.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Bubo Ascalaphus Savigny, 1809, Upper Egypt.
Forms superspecies with B. bubo and B. bengalensis, with B. virginianus (including recently separated B. magellanicus) and B. capensis sometimes considered part of same group. Formerly treated as conspecific with B. bubo; separation based mainly on vocalizations, and partly morphology, but DNA evidence not conclusive; also, appears to intergrade with B. bubo in parts of Middle East, suggesting that conspecificity perhaps possible; on other hand, some range overlap without known intermediates with B. bubo race hispanus in NW Africa, although latter now presumed extinct there; further study warranted. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • ascalaphus Savigny, 1809 - NW Africa and N Egypt E to W Iraq.
  • desertorum Erlanger, 1897 - Sahara S to Mauretania and Niger, E to Ethiopia, Arabia and S Iraq.

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