Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Sombre Greenbul (Andropadus importunus) - HBW 10, p. 203

French: Bulbul importun German: Schlichtbülbül Spanish: Bulbul de Zanzibar
Other common names: Southern Sombre Greenbul (importunus); Zanzibar Sombre Greenbul (insularis); Frick’s Sombre Greenbul (“A. fricki”)

Taxonomy: Turdus importunus Vieillot, 1818, Outeniekwa Forest, Western Cape, South Africa.
Genus formerly submerged in Pycnonotus. Affinities of this species uncertain; no obvious close relatives, and generic placement by no means certain. Proposed taxon A. fricki (described from C Kenyan Highlands), resembling race insularis but with yellow eyering, now considered to be immature of that race. Size (weight) increases clinally from Kenya S to South Africa. Several proposed races too poorly differentiated to be safely distinguishable: thus, somaliensis (S Somalia) and subalaris (coastal Kenya) merged with insularis, loquax (SC Mozambiq.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Turdus importunus Vieillot, 1818, Outeniekwa Forest, Western Cape, South Africa.
Genus formerly submerged in Pycnonotus. Affinities of this species uncertain; no obvious close relatives, and generic placement by no means certain. Proposed taxon A. fricki (described from C Kenyan Highlands), resembling race insularis but with yellow eyering, now considered to be immature of that race. Size (weight) increases clinally from Kenya S to South Africa. Several proposed races too poorly differentiated to be safely distinguishable: thus, somaliensis (S Somalia) and subalaris (coastal Kenya) merged with insularis, loquax (SC Mozambique) with hypoxanthus, and noomei (NE South Africa) and errolius (E South Africa) with nominate. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • insularis Hartlaub, 1861 - extreme S Ethiopia and S Somalia S to coastal C Tanzania (including Zanzibar).
  • hypoxanthus Sharpe, 1876 - coastal SE Tanzania (including Mafia I) S to Mozambique (N of R Save), and SC Zambia and Malawi S to Zimbabwe (except along R Limpopo).
  • oleaginus W. K. H. Peters, 1868 - S Zimbabwe (along R Limpopo), S Mozambique (S of R Save) and lowland N South Africa (S to N KwaZulu-Natal) and E Swaziland.
  • importunus (Vieillot, 1818) - highlands of N South Africa and W Swaziland S along coast to Western Cape.