Larks (Alaudidae)

Sabota Lark (Calendulauda sabota) - HBW 9, p. 558

French: Alouette sabota German: Sabotalerche Spanish: Alondra Sabota
Other common names: Bradfield’s/Large-billed Lark (“naevia group”)

Taxonomy: Mirafra Sabota A. Smith, 1836, “between Latakoo and the Tropic” (= Rustenburg), Northwest Province, South Africa.
Formerly placed in genus Mirafra, but genetic data indicate that it belongs with present genus. Large-billed races naevia, herero and bradfieldi sometimes treated together as a separate species; limited genetic evidence supports this split, but further work needed. Geographical variation within both “small-billed group” and “large-billed group” broadly clinal, and further study may reveal that several taxa are not sustainable. Other named races are elfriedae (E end of Etosha Pan, in N Namibia), hoeschi (N Damaraland, in NC Namibia) and vese.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Mirafra Sabota A. Smith, 1836, “between Latakoo and the Tropic” (= Rustenburg), Northwest Province, South Africa.
Formerly placed in genus Mirafra, but genetic data indicate that it belongs with present genus. Large-billed races naevia, herero and bradfieldi sometimes treated together as a separate species; limited genetic evidence supports this split, but further work needed. Geographical variation within both “small-billed group” and “large-billed group” broadly clinal, and further study may reveal that several taxa are not sustainable. Other named races are elfriedae (E end of Etosha Pan, in N Namibia), hoeschi (N Damaraland, in NC Namibia) and veseyfitzgeraldi (NW Botswana), all synonymized with waibeli, and Namibian forms erongo and uis (both from NW Damaraland), considered inseparable from naevia. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • plebeja (Cabanis, 1875) - extreme NW Angola (coast of Cabinda).
  • ansorgei (W. L. Sclater, 1926) - Angolan coastal plain S from W Cuanza Sul (from Sumbe).
  • naevia (Strickland, 1853) - NW Namibia.

     See all 9 subspecies
  • plebeja (Cabanis, 1875) - extreme NW Angola (coast of Cabinda).
  • ansorgei (W. L. Sclater, 1926) - Angolan coastal plain S from W Cuanza Sul (from Sumbe).
  • naevia (Strickland, 1853) - NW Namibia.
  • herero (Roberts, 1936) - C & S Namibia.
  • bradfieldi (Roberts, 1928) - semi-arid Karoo regions in C South Africa.
  • waibeli (Grote, 1922) - N Namibia and N Botswana.
  • sabotoides (Roberts, 1932) - C & S Botswana, W Zimbabwe and NW South Africa (Northwest Province).
  • sabota (A. Smith, 1836) - highveld savanna in E Botswana, Zimbabwe and E South Africa.
  • suffusca (Clancey, 1958) - SE Zimbabwe, S Mozambique, and lowveld of South Africa and Swaziland.