Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii) - HBW 9, p. 668

French: Hirondelle à longs brins German: Rotkappenschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina Colilarga
Other common names: African Wire-tailed Swallow (smithii); Asian Wire-tailed Swallow (filifera)

Taxonomy: Hirundo Smithii Leach, 1818, Chisalla Island, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Sometimes considered to form a superspecies with H. nigrita, but substantial plumage and other morphological differences, combined with extent of range overlap in Africa (Congo Basin), make this unlikely. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • smithii Leach, 1818 - sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal, S Mali and C Ivory Coast E to C & S Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, and S (outside C rainforest zone) to N Namibia, N Botswana and NE South Africa.
  • filifera Stephens, 1826 - S Uzbekistan, S Tadjikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, SW Nepal, Myanmar, N Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and C Vietnam.