Mousebirds (Coliidae)

Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus) - HBW 6, p. 75

French: Coliou rayé German: Braunflügel-Mausvogel Spanish: Pájaro-ratón Común
Other common names: Speckled Coly, Bar-breasted Mousebird/Coly

Taxonomy: Colius striatus J. F. Gmelin, 1789, Cape of Good Hope.
Races can be divided into three groups: "nigricollis group" in NW part of range, comprising races nigricollis and leucophthalmus; "leucotis group" of E, including leucotis, hilgerti, erlangeri, kikuyensis, mombassicus, jebelensis, ugandensis, kiwuensis, congicus, cinerascens, affinis and berlepschi; and "striatus group" of S, with races simulans, rhodesiae, integralis, minor and striatus. Each group possibly approaching species level, given .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Colius striatus J. F. Gmelin, 1789, Cape of Good Hope.
Races can be divided into three groups: "nigricollis group" in NW part of range, comprising races nigricollis and leucophthalmus; "leucotis group" of E, including leucotis, hilgerti, erlangeri, kikuyensis, mombassicus, jebelensis, ugandensis, kiwuensis, congicus, cinerascens, affinis and berlepschi; and "striatus group" of S, with races simulans, rhodesiae, integralis, minor and striatus. Each group possibly approaching species level, given rare occurrence of hybridization and nearly complete lack of intergradation in contact areas; within groups, however, races often intergrade. Race erlangeri often merged with leucotis, ugandensis sometimes with kiwuensis, berlepschi with affinis, and integralis with minor. Birds with reddish-brown upperparts and breast from Mt Marsabit and Chyulu Hills, in Kenya, sometimes separated respectively as races marsabit and chyulu, now generally merged with kikuyensis; those from Mt Kilimanjaro, in N Tanzania, previously separated as race marangu, but probably a hybrid population and generally placed with cinerascens; and those from NW Zambia, described as race lungae, now normally included in congicus. Nineteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • nigricollis Vieillot, 1817 - Ghana (Mole Game Park), and SE Nigeria (E of R Niger and Jos Plateau) E to SW Central African Republic and S to W Angola (Cabinda S to N Namibe) and SW Zaire.
  • leucophthalmus Chapin, 1921 - SE Central African Republic, NE Zaire and SW Sudan.
  • leucotis Rüppell, 1839 - E Sudan (Blue Nile) and W Ethiopia.

     See all 19 subspecies
  • nigricollis Vieillot, 1817 - Ghana (Mole Game Park), and SE Nigeria (E of R Niger and Jos Plateau) E to SW Central African Republic and S to W Angola (Cabinda S to N Namibe) and SW Zaire.
  • leucophthalmus Chapin, 1921 - SE Central African Republic, NE Zaire and SW Sudan.
  • leucotis Rüppell, 1839 - E Sudan (Blue Nile) and W Ethiopia.
  • hilgerti Zedlitz, 1910 - NE Ethiopia, Djibouti and extreme NW Somalia.
  • erlangeri Zedlitz, 1910 - SE Sudan and C & SW Ethiopia.
  • jebelensis Mearns, 1915 - S Sudan, extreme NE Zaire and N Uganda.
  • kiwuensis Reichenow, 1908 - area between L Albert and L Tanganyika, in E Zaire, W Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
  • ugandensis van Someren, 1919 - S Uganda, W Kenya and extreme NW Tanzania.
  • kikuyensis van Someren, 1919 - C Kenya Highlands and nearby N Tanzania.
  • mombassicus van Someren, 1919 - S Somalia, coastal E Kenya and NE Tanzania.
  • congicus Reichenow, 1923 - SE Zaire (Kasai Oriental E to L Tanganyika) S to NE Angola and NW Zambia.
  • cinerascens Neumann, 1900 - CN, W & C Tanzania.
  • affinis Shelley, 1885 - coastal E Tanzania.
  • berlepschi Hartert, 1899 - S Tanzania, NE Zambia and Malawi.
  • simulans Clancey, 1979 - extreme S Malawi, and C Mozambique (along R Zambezi valley).
  • rhodesiae C. H. B. Grant & Mackworth-Praed, 1938 - highlands of E Zimbabwe and adjacent Mozambique (Manica and Sofala).
  • integralis Clancey, 1957 - SE Zimbabwe, S Mozambique (S to Delagoa Bay) and NE South Africa (E Transvaal, NE Zululand).
  • minor Cabanis, 1876 - E South Africa (most of Transvaal and Natal), Swaziland and extreme S Mozambique.
  • striatus J. F. Gmelin, 1789 - S South Africa (Cape Province E to R Great Kei).