(Hypsipetes leucocephalus psaroides)
Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh (India)
Hypsipetes is a genus of bulbuls, songbirds in the family Pycnonotidae. Most of its species birds occur in tropical forests around the Indian Ocean. But while the genus is quite diverse in the Madagascar region at the western end of its range it does not reach the African mainland.
Most Hypsipetes bulbuls are dark greyish birds with range or red bills and feet. The feathers on top of the head are slightly elongated and usually black, and can be erected to form a short and wispy crest.
Taxonomy and systematics
The mountain bulbul and Sunda bulbul – formerly H. mcclellandii and H. virescens – are provisionally placed in Ixos until the genus limits in bulbuls are firmly established. They are often included in Hypsipetes but this is an old error that was promoted in modern times by the Sibley taxonomy.
In fact, I. virescens is the type species of Ixos, and though some sources advocate a complete merger of the two genera – and even the entire "Hypsipetes group" of bulbuls, which also includes Hemixos, Iole, Microscelis and Tricholestes –, being the oldest genus name Ixos would apply to all of them, rather than Hypsipetes as is often believed. The most drastic course hardly appropriate however, since Alophoixus and Setornis cannot be excluded from the "Hypsipetes group", and an all-out merge would turn the resultant "genus" into an ill-defined "wastebin taxon". The erroneous inclusion of I. virescens in Hypsipetes has caused the Nicobar bulbul to be listed under its invalid junior synonym H. nicobariensis rather than the valid names H. virescens or I. nicobariensis.
The Philippine bulbul on the other hand seems to be closer to the black bulbul than to the mountain bulbul, and may in fact be correctly placed in Hypsipetes; some other species presently placed in Ixos – the sulphur-bellied bulbul, Zamboanga bulbul and streak-breasted bulbul (I. palawanensis, I. rufigularis and I. siquijorensis, respectively) – might also belong here. For as it seems, Ixos is paraphyletic with respect to its relatives, and though too few species have been studied, it may well be that like other species of Ixos (but not I. virescens) do belong in Hypsipetes after all. Alternatively, the streaked bulbul (I. malaccensis) and perhaps others which seem closer to the Hemixos lineage might be included there or separated as a distinct genus, and Hypsipetes (and probably Microscelis as well) merged with the core of Ixos under the latter name.
There are fifteen extant species in the genus Hypsipetes:
- Seychelles bulbul (Hypsipetes crassirostris)
- Reunion bulbul (Hypsipetes borbonicus)
- Mauritius bulbul (Hypsipetes olivaceus)
- Malagasy bulbul (Hypsipetes madagascariensis)
- Grand Comoro bulbul (Hypsipetes parvirostris)
- Moheli bulbul (Hypsipetes moheliensis)
- Black bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus)
- Square-tailed bulbul (Hypsipetes ganeesa)
- Philippine bulbul (Hypsipetes philippinus)
- Mindoro bulbul(Hypsipetes mindorensis)
- Visayan bulbul (Hypsipetes guimarasensis)
- Zamboanga bulbul (Hypsipetes rufigularis)
- Streak-breasted bulbul (Hypsipetes siquijorensis)
- Yellowish bulbul (Hypsipetes everetti)
- Brown-eared bulbul (Hypsipetes amaurotis)
- †Rodrigues bulbul (Hypsipetes cowlesi)
Some authorities, either presently or formerly, recognize several additional species as belonging to the genus Hypsipetes including:
- Eastern bearded greenbul (as Hypsipetes malaccensis)
- Yellow-browed bulbul (as Hypsipetes indica or Hypsipetes indicus)
- Hairy-backed bulbul (as Hypsipetes criniger)
- Olive bulbul (as Hypsipetes virescens or Hypsipetes viridescens)
- Grey-eyed bulbul (as Hypsipetes propinquus)
- Buff-vented bulbul (as Hypsipetes olivacea)
- Sulphur-bellied bulbul (as Hypsipetes palawanensis)
- Nicobar bulbul (as Hypsipetes nicobariensis, Hypsipetes virescens, or Ixocincla virescens)
- Mountain bulbul (as Hypsipetes mcclellandi or Hypsipetes mcclellandii)
- Mountain bulbul (tickelli) (as Hypsipetes tickelli)
- Mountain bulbul (holtii) (as Hypsipetes holtii)
- Gregory (2000)
- Gregory (2000), Pasquet et al. (2001), Moyle & Marks (2006)
- Pasquet et al. (2001), Moyle & Marks (2006)
- "Bulbuls « IOC World Bird List". www.worldbirdnames.org. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
- "Criniger chloronotus - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
- "Acritillas indica - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- "Tricholestes criniger - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- "Iole viridescens - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
- "Iole propinqua - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
- "Iole charlottae - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
- "Iole palawanensis - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
- "Ixos nicobariensis - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
- Balfour, Edward (1871). Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, Commercial, Industrial and Scientific: Products of the Mineral, Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms, Useful Arts and Manufactures. Printed at the Scottish & Adelphi presses.
- "Ixos mcclellandii - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
- "Ixos mcclellandii tickelli - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
- "Ixos mcclellandii holtii - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
Media related to Hypsipetes at Wikimedia Commons
- Gregory, Steven M. (2000): Nomenclature of the Hypsipetes Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae). Forktail 16: 164-166. PDF fulltext
- Moyle, Robert G. & Marks, Ben D. (2006): Phylogenetic relationships of the bulbuls (Aves: Pycnonotidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 40(3): 687-695. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.04.015 (HTML abstract)
- Pasquet, Éric; Han, Lian-Xian; Khobkhet, Obhas & Cibois, Alice (2001): Towards a molecular systematics of the genus Criniger, and a preliminary phylogeny of the bulbuls (Aves, Passeriformes, Pycnonotidae). Zoosystema 23(4): 857-863. PDF fulltext