Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia) - HBW 16, p. 513

French: Bruant fou German: Zippammer Spanish: Escribano Montesino
Other common names: Western Rock Bunting, European/Eurasian Rock Bunting, Meadow Bunting(!)

Taxonomy: Emberiza cia Linnaeus, 1766, southern Europe = lower Austria.
Forms a superspecies, and previously treated as conspecific, with E. godlewskii. Recent phylogenetic analysis indicated that, according to cytochrome b tree, interrelationships among present species, E. godlewskii and E. cioides are unresolved. Similarities in plumage to E. capensis, E. striolata and E. tahapisi seem to be result of parallel evolution, rather than close phylogenetic relationship. Geographical variation mainly clinal, races grading into each other; birds from N Europe tend to be darker than those from S Europe and C Asia, but dif.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Emberiza cia Linnaeus, 1766, southern Europe = lower Austria.
Forms a superspecies, and previously treated as conspecific, with E. godlewskii. Recent phylogenetic analysis indicated that, according to cytochrome b tree, interrelationships among present species, E. godlewskii and E. cioides are unresolved. Similarities in plumage to E. capensis, E. striolata and E. tahapisi seem to be result of parallel evolution, rather than close phylogenetic relationship. Geographical variation mainly clinal, races grading into each other; birds from N Europe tend to be darker than those from S Europe and C Asia, but differences between races generally slight. Other proposed races are callensis (from Bom Jesus, Braga, in N Portugal), africana (from Spain and Morocco E to Tunisia) and mokrzechyi (from extreme W Caucasus), all synonymized with nominate; and prageri (from Crimea and Caucasus), serebrowskii (from Altai and Tarbagatay) and lasdini (from Pamirs), all synonymized with par. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • cia Linnaeus, 1766 - C & S Europe E to Turkey and Levant, and N Africa E to Tunisia.
  • par E. J. O. Hartert, 1904 - Crimea and Caucasus and E Turkey E to Iran, and C Asia E to W Mongolian Altai.
  • stracheyi F. Moore, 1856 - NW Himalayas from extreme SW China (SW Xizang), Baltistan and Kashmir E to N India (Kumaon) and W Nepal.
  • flemingorum J. Martens, 1972 - W & C Nepal.