Lamprotornis

Lamprotornis

Taxobox
name = " Lamprotornis "


image_width = 220px
image_caption = Cape Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis nitens"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Passeriformes
familia = Sturnidae
genus = " Lamprotornis "
genus_authority = Temminck, 1820
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = About 20, see text

"Lamprotornis" is a large genus of glossy-starlings all of which occur in Africa south of the Sahara. They have glossy blue or green upper parts, which is due to hollow melanin granules arranged in a single layer near the feather barbule’s surface. This unique arrangement led to some glossy starlings formerly placed in the genus "Spreo" being transferred to "Lamprotornis", since they shared this feature (but see also below).

The under parts of these species lacks iridescence. They may be blue, purple, yellow or brown. Most "Lamprotornis" starlings have striking yellow or red irides and some have long tails

These glossy starlings are found in a variety of habitats from forests to open woodland and gardens. They nest in tree holes, either natural, or made by woodpeckers or barbets, and some will used man-made structures. Most species are resident apart from seasonal or local movement, but Shelley’s Starling is migratory. Most species are gregarious outside the breeding season.

"Lamprotornis" glossy-starlings are omnivorous and mostly feed on the ground, although they will take fruit from trees. Some will feed on or near large mammals to find insects.

Species in taxonomic order

* Cape Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis nitens"
* Greater Blue-eared Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis chalybaeus"
* Lesser Blue-eared Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis chloropterus"
* Southern Blue-eared Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis elisabeth"
* Bronze-tailed Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis chalcurus"
* Splendid Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis splendidus"
* Principe Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis ornatus"
* Purple Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis purpureus"
* Rueppell's Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis purpuroptera"
* Long-tailed Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis caudatus"
* Meves' Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis mevesii"
* Burchell's Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis australis"
* Sharp-tailed Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis acuticaudus"
* Superb Starling, "Lamprotornis superbus"
* Hildebrandt's Starling, "Lamprotornis hildebrandti"
* Shelley's Starling, "Lamprotornis shelleyi"
* Chestnut-bellied Starling, "Lamprotornis pulcher"
* Purple-headed Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis purpureiceps"
* Copper-tailed Glossy-starling, "Lamprotornis cupreocauda"

The limits of this genus require revision. For example, the Black-bellied Glossy-starling is sometimes placed in a separate genus "Notopholia", and it (and possibly others) appears to be indeed well distinct. On the other hand, genera such as "Coccycolius", "Spreo" and "Compsarus" are sometimes included in "Lamprotolius".(Zuccon "et al." 2006)

References

* (1999): "Starlings and Mynas". Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7136-3961-X
*aut|Zuccon, Dario; Cibois, Anne; Pasquet, Eric & Ericson, Per G.P. (2006): Nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data reveal the major lineages of starlings, mynas and related taxa. "Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution" 41(2): 333-344. doi|10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.007 (HTML abstract)


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