Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Rock Martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) - HBW 9, p. 673

French: Hirondelle isabelline German: Steinschwalbe Spanish: Avión Isabelino
Other common names: Pale Crag Martin (N races); Red-throated Rock Martin (pusilla, bansoensis, fusciventris); African Rock Martin (anderssoni, pretoriae, fuligula)

Taxonomy: Hirundo fuligula M. H. K. Lichtenstein, 1842, Baviaan River, Cape Province, South Africa.
Genus often merged with Hirundo, but DNA studies indicate that the two are sister-taxa. Forms a superspecies with P. rupestris and P. concolor; all three have been considered conspecific, but breeding ranges overlap. Taxonomy complex, requires further study. Races appear to form three separate groups: “obsoleta group” of pale N races (also comprising presaharica, spatzi, buchanani, perpallida, pallida, arabica), often treated as constituting a separate species; small and dark “fusciventris group” (also includ.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Hirundo fuligula M. H. K. Lichtenstein, 1842, Baviaan River, Cape Province, South Africa.
Genus often merged with Hirundo, but DNA studies indicate that the two are sister-taxa. Forms a superspecies with P. rupestris and P. concolor; all three have been considered conspecific, but breeding ranges overlap. Taxonomy complex, requires further study. Races appear to form three separate groups: “obsoleta group” of pale N races (also comprising presaharica, spatzi, buchanani, perpallida, pallida, arabica), often treated as constituting a separate species; small and dark “fusciventris group” (also including pusilla and bansoensis) of W, C & E Africa; and large-sized “nominate group” (also with anderssoni and pretoriae) of S Africa. Variation in coloration and size, however, mainly clinal; moreover, all races intergrade with one another, and ranges not clearly demarcated. Proposed race birwae (Sierra Leone, Guinea) synonymized with bansoensis; birds from N Nigeria and Chad E to Ethiopia and S to DRCongo, Uganda and N Tanzania described as race rufigula, but that name invalid, as preoccupied, and therefore synonymized with fusciventris. Thirteen subspecies usually recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • presaharica (Vaurie, 1953) - S Morocco, Algeria (except S) and N Mauritania.
  • spatzi (Geyr von Schweppenburg, 1916) - S Algeria, SW Libya and N Chad.
  • buchanani (Hartert, 1921) - Niger.

     See all 13 subspecies
  • presaharica (Vaurie, 1953) - S Morocco, Algeria (except S) and N Mauritania.
  • spatzi (Geyr von Schweppenburg, 1916) - S Algeria, SW Libya and N Chad.
  • buchanani (Hartert, 1921) - Niger.
  • obsoleta (Cabanis, 1850) - Egypt E to N, C & E Arabia and Iran.
  • perpallida (Vaurie, 1951) - S Iraq and NE Saudi Arabia.
  • pallida Hume, 1872 - E Iran, SW & SE Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • arabica (Reichenow, 1905) - NE Chad (Ennedi), N Sudan, SW Arabia, Eritrea, N Somalia and Socotra.
  • pusilla (Zedlitz, 1908) - S Mali E to Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • bansoensis (Bannerman, 1923) - Sierra Leone E to Nigeria and Cameroon.
  • fusciventris Vincent, 1933 - S Chad, Central African Republic, W & S Sudan, SW Ethiopia, and E Africa S to Zimbabwe and N Mozambique.
  • anderssoni (Sharpe & Wyatt, 1887) - N & SW Angola and N & C Namibia.
  • fuligula (M. H. K. Lichtenstein, 1842) - S Namibia, Botswana and W South Africa.
  • pretoriae Roberts, 1922 - SW Zimbabwe and S Mozambique S to E South Africa.
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