Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Southern Black Tit (Parus niger) - HBW 12, p. 732

French: Mésange nègre German: Mohrenmeise Spanish: Carbonero Negro

Taxonomy: Parus niger Vieillot, 1818, Sunday River, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with P. guineensis, P. leucomelas, P. carpi and P. albiventris, possibly also including P. leuconotus. Has been considered conspecific with P. leucomelas, but the two appear not to interbreed in area of range overlap in Malawi and Zambia. Races intergrade widely and boundaries imperfectly known. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • xanthostomus Shelley, 1892 - SE Angola, C & S Zambia, SW Tanzania, NE Namibia, N & E Botswana and N South Africa (North West Province).
  • ravidus Clancey, 1964 - E Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and C Mozambique S to extreme N South Africa (N Limpopo Province).
  • niger Vieillot, 1818 - S Mozambique S to Swaziland and E South Africa (S to Eastern Cape).