Frogmouths (Podargidae)

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) - HBW 5, p. 282

French: Podarge gris German: Eulenschwalm Spanish: Podargo Australiano
Other common names: Freckled/Tawny-shouldered Frogmouth, Mopoke, Morepork(!), Night Hawk, Podargus

Taxonomy: Caprimulgus strigoides Latham, 1801, New Holland = Sydney, New South Wales.
Possibly the most divergent member of the genus; coloration, proportionately long and pointed wings, short tail and strong feet are all adaptations to its relatively dry woodland habitat. Wide individual and sexual, as well as geographical, variation in coloration and size led to naming of numerous races in past; proposed races lilae (Groote Eylandt) and gouldi (NE Australia) included in phalaenoides, while cornwalli (E Queensland), victoriae (SC Australia) and cuvieri (Tasmania) all now lumped into nominate; much of the variation now known to be clin.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Caprimulgus strigoides Latham, 1801, New Holland = Sydney, New South Wales.
Possibly the most divergent member of the genus; coloration, proportionately long and pointed wings, short tail and strong feet are all adaptations to its relatively dry woodland habitat. Wide individual and sexual, as well as geographical, variation in coloration and size led to naming of numerous races in past; proposed races lilae (Groote Eylandt) and gouldi (NE Australia) included in phalaenoides, while cornwalli (E Queensland), victoriae (SC Australia) and cuvieri (Tasmania) all now lumped into nominate; much of the variation now known to be clinal, resulting in various recent treatments reducing number of valid races to five, three, two or none, but detailed studies now indicate three should be accepted. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • phalaenoides Gould, 1840 - throughout N Australia, S to Great Sandy Desert, Barkly Tableland and S plains of Gulf of Carpenteria in Queensland.
  • brachypterus Gould, 1841 - Western Australia (N to Great Sandy Desert) NE to Channel Country of Queensland and SE to Murray mallee in Victoria.
  • strigoides (Latham, 1801) - E & SE Australia (S from N of Cooktown, W to inland fringes of Great Dividing Range and SE South Australia) and Tasmania.

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