Woodhoopoes (Phoeniculidae)

Violet Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus damarensis) - HBW 6, p. 430

French: Irrisor damara German: Steppenbaumhopf Spanish: Abubilla-arbórea Violeta
Other common names: Grant’s Woodhoopoe (granti); Southern Violet Woodhoopoe (damarensis)

Taxonomy: Irrisor damarensis Ogilvie-Grant, 1901, Damaraland.
Generally considered to form a superspecies with P. purpureus and P. somaliensis. All three sometimes treated as conspecific, which may be a more realistic treatment; more study needed. Race granti, geographically isolated by huge distance from nominate race, sometimes given full specific rank, but this is currently considered inappropriate, particularly in light of confusion regarding taxonomic treatment of present species; further research required. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • granti (Neumann, 1903) - S Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • damarensis (Ogilvie-Grant, 1901) - W Angola and NW Namibia.