Fantails (Rhipiduridae)

Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons) - HBW 11, p. 231

French: Rhipidure roux German: Fuchsfächerschwanz Spanish: Abanico Rojizo
Other common names: Red/Wood/Rufous-fronted Fantail/Flycatcher, Allied/Rufous Flycatcher; Pohnpei/Ponapé Fantail (kubaryi)

Taxonomy: Muscicapa rufifrons Latham, 1801, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Forms a superspecies with R. dryas and R. semirubra, and all three often considered conspecific; all are part of a larger species group that also includes R. teysmanni, R. superflua, R. dedemi, R. opistherythra, R. lepida, R. rufidorsa, R. dahli, R. matthiae and R. malaitae. Well-marked race kubaryi sometimes considered a separate species, based on geographical isolation, vocalizations, and lack of rufous in plumage; however, almost certainly derived from other populations within the rufifrons cluster, .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Muscicapa rufifrons Latham, 1801, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Forms a superspecies with R. dryas and R. semirubra, and all three often considered conspecific; all are part of a larger species group that also includes R. teysmanni, R. superflua, R. dedemi, R. opistherythra, R. lepida, R. rufidorsa, R. dahli, R. matthiae and R. malaitae. Well-marked race kubaryi sometimes considered a separate species, based on geographical isolation, vocalizations, and lack of rufous in plumage; however, almost certainly derived from other populations within the rufifrons cluster, and separation at species level presents complications. Guam race uraniae extinct. Eighteen extant subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • torrida Wallace, 1865 - N Moluccas (Halmahera, Ternate, Bacan, Obi).
  • saipanensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1898 - Saipan and Tinian, in Northern Mariana Is.
  • mariae R. H. Baker, 1946 - Rota (Northern Marianas).

     See all 18 subspecies
  • torrida Wallace, 1865 - N Moluccas (Halmahera, Ternate, Bacan, Obi).
  • saipanensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1898 - Saipan and Tinian, in Northern Mariana Is.
  • mariae R. H. Baker, 1946 - Rota (Northern Marianas).
  • versicolor Hartlaub & Finsch, 1872 - W Caroline Is (Yap).
  • kubaryi Finsch, 1876 - E Caroline Is (Pohnpei).
  • louisiadensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1899 - D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago (Fergusson I) and Louisiade Archipelago (Rossel, Misima, Bonvouloir Group), off SE New Guinea.
  • commoda E. J. O. Hartert, 1918 - Buka I, Bougainville I and NW Solomon Is (Choiseul, Santa Isabel and adjacent islands).
  • granti E. J. O. Hartert, 1918 - SW Solomons (Vella Lavella, Mbava, Ranongga, Narovo, Gizo, Kolombangara, New Georgia, Gatukai, Rendova, Tetepare).
  • brunnea Mayr, 1931 - Malaita, in NE Solomons.
  • rufofronta E. P. Ramsay, 1879 - Guadalcanal, in C Solomons.
  • russata Tristram, 1879 - San Cristobal (Makira), in SE Solomons.
  • ugiensis Mayr, 1931 - Uki I (off N San Cristobal).
  • kuperi Mayr, 1931 - Santa Ana (off E San Cristobal).
  • agilis Mayr, 1931 - Santa Cruz Is (Santa Cruz).
  • utupuae Mayr, 1931 - Utupua, in C Santa Cruz Is.
  • melanolaema Sharpe, 1879 - Vanikoro Is, in S Santa Cruz Is.
  • intermedia North, 1902 - NE Australia (NE Queensland).
  • rufifrons (Latham, 1801) - breeds E Australia from SE Queensland S to Victoria; non-breeding N Queensland and S New Guinea (Trans-Fly region).