Treecreepers (Certhiidae)

Spotted Creeper (Salpornis spilonotus) - HBW 13, p. 186

French: Grimpereau tacheté German: Stammsteiger Spanish: Agateador Moteado
Other common names: Spotted Treecreeper, Spotted Grey Creeper

Taxonomy: Certhia spilonota Franklin, 1831, between Calcutta and Benares, India.
Has been placed in Sittidae or treated as a monospecific family, Salpornithidae, mainly due to lack of stiffened tail feathers. Data derived from DNA-DNA hybridization indicate present genus is closest relative of Certhia. Recent research using biometrics, song structure and cytochrome b sequences supports treatment as a separate family with closest but still loose relationship to Tichodromidae; also calls for specific separation of African birds as S. salvadori. In contrast, other studies suggest distinct vocal differences exist between, on the one hand, Indian and W Afri.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Certhia spilonota Franklin, 1831, between Calcutta and Benares, India.
Has been placed in Sittidae or treated as a monospecific family, Salpornithidae, mainly due to lack of stiffened tail feathers. Data derived from DNA-DNA hybridization indicate present genus is closest relative of Certhia. Recent research using biometrics, song structure and cytochrome b sequences supports treatment as a separate family with closest but still loose relationship to Tichodromidae; also calls for specific separation of African birds as S. salvadori. In contrast, other studies suggest distinct vocal differences exist between, on the one hand, Indian and W African birds and, on the other, S African populations, and these two groups might represent two separate species; further study required, e.g. of Ethiopian birds. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • emini Hartlaub, 1884 - Gambia S to W Guinea, NW Sierra Leone and N Ivory Coast E discontinuously to N Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, N Cameroon, S Chad (S from Azoum/Chari confluence) and N Central African Republic; also S Sudan, adjacent NE DRCongo (NE Uele) and extreme NW Uganda.
  • erlangeri Neumann, 1907 - W & SE Ethiopian Highlands.
  • salvadori (Bocage, 1878) - extreme E Uganda and adjacent highlands of W Kenya; also C Angola, S & SE DRCongo, most of Zambia, NE, W & S Tanzania (S from near SE of L Victoria in W and from Songea and Liwale in SE), Malawi and N Mozambique (S to R Zambezi).

     See all 6 subspecies
  • emini Hartlaub, 1884 - Gambia S to W Guinea, NW Sierra Leone and N Ivory Coast E discontinuously to N Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, N Cameroon, S Chad (S from Azoum/Chari confluence) and N Central African Republic; also S Sudan, adjacent NE DRCongo (NE Uele) and extreme NW Uganda.
  • erlangeri Neumann, 1907 - W & SE Ethiopian Highlands.
  • salvadori (Bocage, 1878) - extreme E Uganda and adjacent highlands of W Kenya; also C Angola, S & SE DRCongo, most of Zambia, NE, W & S Tanzania (S from near SE of L Victoria in W and from Songea and Liwale in SE), Malawi and N Mozambique (S to R Zambezi).
  • xylodromus Clancey, 1975 - N & C Zimbabwe (Zambezi Escarpment and Mashonaland Plateau) and adjacent Mozambique (Manica platform S to R Save).
  • rajputanae R. Meinertzhagen, 1926 - C & SE Rajasthan (E from Sambhar, Ajmer, Aravalli Hills and Mt Abu), in WC India.
  • spilonotus (Franklin, 1831) - C India from E Gujarat (E from Rajpipla and Disa) and S Haryana (Gurgaon) E to N Uttar Pradesh (Gonda, near Nepalese border) and N Bihar, S to E Maharashtra, N Andhra Pradesh and SE Madhya Pradesh (Bastar District).