Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Southern Rufous Sparrow (Passer motitensis) - HBW 14, p. 800

French: Grand Moineau German: Rostsperling Spanish: Gorrión Grande
Other common names: Great/Rufous Sparrow; Namibia (Rufous) Sparrow (benguellensis)

Taxonomy: Pyrgita Motitensis A. Smith, 1836, Hopetown, northern Cape Province; error = Motita, near Old Lakatoo, 135 miles [c. 215 km] north of Orange River, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with P. iagoensis, P. cordofanicus, P. shelleyi, P. insularis and P. rufocinctus, and all sometimes considered conspecific. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • benguellensis Lynes, 1926 - coastal SW Angola and Namibia.
  • motitensis ( A. Smith, 1836) - Botswana and N South Africa (N Northern Cape and North West Province).
  • subsolanus Clancey, 1964 - SW Zimbabwe and N & C South Africa (Limpopo Province S to N & W Free State).