Rollers (Coraciidae)

Racquet-tailed Roller (Coracias spatulatus) - HBW 6, p. 372

French: Rollier à raquettes German: Spatelracke Spanish: Carraca de Raquetas
Other common names: Weigall’s Roller (weigalli)

Taxonomy: Coracias spatulatus Trimen, 1880, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Affinities uncertain; possibly closer to C. abyssinicus than to C. caudatus. Status of race weigalli disputed; has been thought to be merely half-moulted immature of present species, but other authors regard it as a valid, geographically distinct taxon; the two races evidently hybridize over c. 200-km-wide area from S Tanzania through Malawi to C Mozambique. Species name frequently given as feminine, spatulata, but genus is masculine. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • spatulatus Trimen, 1880 - W Angola E to W Tanzania and Mozambique (S of R Zambezi).
  • weigalli Dresser, 1890 - S Tanzania and N Mozambique (N of R Zambezi).