Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Sombre Tit (Poecile lugubris) - HBW 12, p. 711

French: Mésange lugubre German: Balkanmeise Spanish: Carbonero Lúgubre
Other common names: Caspian/Elburz Tit (hyrcanus)

Taxonomy: Parus lugubris Temminck, 1820, Dalmatia and Hungary.
Until recently present genus normally subsumed into a broad Parus, and many authors still prefer that treatment. Genus normally treated as feminine, but no evidence in original description or elsewhere justifies this, so genus is masculine by default. Has been considered conspecific with P. davidi. Race hyrcanus has been treated as a separate species on basis of differences in voice and breeding behaviour and apparent absence of intergradation with neighbouring dubius and anatoliae; close to former race in structure and plumage and to latter in plumage, but .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Parus lugubris Temminck, 1820, Dalmatia and Hungary.
Until recently present genus normally subsumed into a broad Parus, and many authors still prefer that treatment. Genus normally treated as feminine, but no evidence in original description or elsewhere justifies this, so genus is masculine by default. Has been considered conspecific with P. davidi. Race hyrcanus has been treated as a separate species on basis of differences in voice and breeding behaviour and apparent absence of intergradation with neighbouring dubius and anatoliae; close to former race in structure and plumage and to latter in plumage, but vocal characters and breeding biology similar to those of P. montanus (especially of “songarus group”); further study required. Geographical variation largely clinal, size decreasing from N to S, crown and bib darker from S to N & E, and underparts increasingly paler from W to E; described race splendens (from E Romania and E Bulgaria) somewhat larger and paler than nominate, but considered better synonymized with it. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • lugubris (Temminck, 1820) - extreme NW Croatia S to Albania, and C & S Romania S to E Bulgaria and N Greece, also Crete.
  • lugens (C. L. Brehm, 1855) - C & S Greece.
  • anatoliae (E. J. O. Hartert, 1905) - Asia Minor, W Georgia, extreme S Armenia and Levant (S to N Israel).

     See all 6 subspecies
  • lugubris (Temminck, 1820) - extreme NW Croatia S to Albania, and C & S Romania S to E Bulgaria and N Greece, also Crete.
  • lugens (C. L. Brehm, 1855) - C & S Greece.
  • anatoliae (E. J. O. Hartert, 1905) - Asia Minor, W Georgia, extreme S Armenia and Levant (S to N Israel).
  • hyrcanus Zarudny & Loudon, 1905 - SE Azerbaijan and N Iran (Elburz Mts).
  • dubius (Hellmayr, 1901) - W Iran.
  • kirmanensis (Koelz, 1950) - SE Iran (Kerman).