Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)

Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata) - HBW 11, p. 703

French: Fauvette à lunettes German: Brillengrasmücke Spanish: Curruca Tomillera

Taxonomy: Sylvia conspicillata Temminck, 1820, Sardinia, Italy.
Although approaching S. communis in general plumage pattern, closest relatives are other small Mediterranean congeners; thus, is part of a group that also contains S. undata, S. sarda, S. balearica, S. deserticola, S. cantillans, S. melanocephala, S. mystacea, S. rueppelli and S. melanothorax. Race orbitalis appears to vary clinally from N to S; Madeira birds the most distinctive, and formerly separated as race bella, while those from Cape Verde Is are closest to nominate, and those from Canary Is are intermed.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Sylvia conspicillata Temminck, 1820, Sardinia, Italy.
Although approaching S. communis in general plumage pattern, closest relatives are other small Mediterranean congeners; thus, is part of a group that also contains S. undata, S. sarda, S. balearica, S. deserticola, S. cantillans, S. melanocephala, S. mystacea, S. rueppelli and S. melanothorax. Race orbitalis appears to vary clinally from N to S; Madeira birds the most distinctive, and formerly separated as race bella, while those from Cape Verde Is are closest to nominate, and those from Canary Is are intermediate (underparts very much like nominate, upperparts more deeply coloured). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • conspicillata Temminck, 1820 - breeds SW & S Europe (Iberia E to Italy and Sicily) and NW Africa (S to WC Mauritania), also Cyprus, S Turkey and Levant; non-breeding mainly NW Africa, N Egypt, and E Mediterranean region.
  • orbitalis (Wahlberg, 1854) - Madeira, Canary Is and Cape Verde Is.