Shrikes (Laniidae)

Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis) - HBW 13, p. 787

French: Pie-grièche méridionale German: Mittelmeer-Raubwürger Spanish: Alcaudón Real
Other common names: Indian Grey Shrike (lahtora); Steppe Grey Shrike (pallidirostris)

Taxonomy: Lanius meridionalis Temminck, 1820, Provence, France.
Forms a superspecies with L. ludovicianus, L. excubitor and L. sphenocercus. Sometimes treated as conspecific with L. excubitor, but the two overlap slightly in range, with little intergradation, in C Asia. Recent molecular-genetic studies indicate that present species may be closer to L. ludovicianus, but this possibility requires further research. Geographical variation complex and partly clinal, races intergrading. Proposed race jebelmarrae (described from Jebel Marra, Darfur, in Sudan) synonymized with leucopygus, but may warrant r.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Lanius meridionalis Temminck, 1820, Provence, France.
Forms a superspecies with L. ludovicianus, L. excubitor and L. sphenocercus. Sometimes treated as conspecific with L. excubitor, but the two overlap slightly in range, with little intergradation, in C Asia. Recent molecular-genetic studies indicate that present species may be closer to L. ludovicianus, but this possibility requires further research. Geographical variation complex and partly clinal, races intergrading. Proposed race jebelmarrae (described from Jebel Marra, Darfur, in Sudan) synonymized with leucopygus, but may warrant recognition; further study required. Eleven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • meridionalis Temminck, 1820 - Iberian Peninsula and S France.
  • koenigi E. J. O. Hartert, 1901 - Canary Is.
  • algeriensis Lesson, 1839 - NW Africa along Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts E to N Tunisia and N Libya (N Tripolitania, N Cyrenaica), S to coastal NW Mauritania and N Sahara.

     See all 11 subspecies
  • meridionalis Temminck, 1820 - Iberian Peninsula and S France.
  • koenigi E. J. O. Hartert, 1901 - Canary Is.
  • algeriensis Lesson, 1839 - NW Africa along Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts E to N Tunisia and N Libya (N Tripolitania, N Cyrenaica), S to coastal NW Mauritania and N Sahara.
  • elegans Swainson, 1832 - N & C Sahara from NE Mauritania, NW Mali, and S Tunisia E to C & S Libya, Egypt (including N & C Sinai Peninsula), NE Sudan (S to Port Sudan) and SW Israel; possibly also NE Niger.
  • theresae R. Meinertzhagen, 1953 - S Lebanon and N Israel.
  • leucopygus Ehrenberg, 1833 - S Sahara in C & S Mauritania, C Mali, C & S Niger, NE Nigeria (probably also extreme N Cameroon), S Chad and C Sudan (including Darfur).
  • aucheri Bonaparte, 1853 - CE Sudan (S from Port Sudan), Eritrea, N Ethiopia, NW Somalia, Iraq, S Iran, Syria, SE Israel, SE Sinai Peninsula, W Arabian Peninsula and Oman.
  • buryi Lorenz von Liburnau & Hellmayr, 1901 - Yemen.
  • uncinatus P. L. Sclater & Hartlaub, 1881 - Socotra I.
  • pallidirostris Cassin, 1852 - C Asia from NW Caspian Sea (extreme S Russia) and S Kazakhstan E to Mongolia and N China and, in W, S to NE Iran, Afghanistan, N Pakistan and W foothills of Tien Shan.
  • lahtora (Sykes, 1832) - Pakistan (except N) and N India (foothills of Himalayas) S to Karnataka, E to C Bangladesh.