Larks (Alaudidae)

Spike-heeled Lark (Chersomanes albofasciata) - HBW 9, p. 564

French: Alouette éperonnée German: Zirplerche Spanish: Alondra Espolada

Taxonomy: Certhilauda albofasciata Lafresnaye, 1836, Deelfontein, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with C. beesleyi; usually considered conspecific, but genetically distinct, widely separated geographically, and lacks sexual plumage dimorphism. Genetic data indicate that N populations are basal, and that, within South Africa, W (coastal) and E (grassland) populations are more closely related to each other than to Karoo populations. Geographical variation mostly in plumage coloration, with fine-scale differences linked to changes in soil colour, resulting in numerous races having been described; differences among many contiguous forms broadly clinal, and further .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Certhilauda albofasciata Lafresnaye, 1836, Deelfontein, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with C. beesleyi; usually considered conspecific, but genetically distinct, widely separated geographically, and lacks sexual plumage dimorphism. Genetic data indicate that N populations are basal, and that, within South Africa, W (coastal) and E (grassland) populations are more closely related to each other than to Karoo populations. Geographical variation mostly in plumage coloration, with fine-scale differences linked to changes in soil colour, resulting in numerous races having been described; differences among many contiguous forms broadly clinal, and further study may demonstrate that several of listed races are unsustainable. Other named races include longispina from Angola (W Huíla), synonymized with obscurata; bathoeni from SE Botswana, merged with kalahariae; bradfieldi from Great Namaqualand (Langklip), merged with arenaria; from W to E in South Africa, bushmanensis and meinertzhageni are considered synonymous with garrula, baddeleyi with nominate, robertsi and subpallida with alticola, and latimerae with macdonaldi. Isolated population in SE DRCongo not yet ascribed to any named race. Ten subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • obscurata (Hartert, 1907) - SW, C & NE Angola (C plateau, and S Bengula S to Namibe).
  • boweni (Meyer de Schauensee, 1931) - NW Namibia.
  • erikssoni (Hartert, 1907) - N Namibia.

     See all 10 subspecies
  • obscurata (Hartert, 1907) - SW, C & NE Angola (C plateau, and S Bengula S to Namibe).
  • boweni (Meyer de Schauensee, 1931) - NW Namibia.
  • erikssoni (Hartert, 1907) - N Namibia.
  • barlowi (C. M. N. White, 1961) - NE Botswana.
  • arenaria (Reichenow, 1904) - S Namibia and SW South Africa (S to NW & C Karoo).
  • garrula (A. Smith, 1846) - W South Africa (Western Cape).
  • kalahariae (Ogilvie-Grant, 1912) - C Botswana and N South Africa.
  • albofasciata (Lafresnaye, 1836) - SE Botswana and C South Africa.
  • alticola Roberts, 1932 - NE South Africa.
  • macdonaldi (Winterbottom, 1958) - S South Africa (SE Karoo).
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