Karoo lark

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Karoo lark
C. a. subsp. guttata near Springbok
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Alaudidae
Genus: Calendulauda
C. albescens
Binomial name
Calendulauda albescens
(Lafresnaye, 1839)

See text

  • Alauda albescens
  • Certhilauda albescens
  • Mirafra albescens
  • Mirafra nivosa

The Karoo lark should not be confused with the similarly named Karoo long-billed lark.

The Karoo lark (Calendulauda albescens) or red-backed lark is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae. It is endemic to South Africa where its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The Karoo lark was originally classified in the genus Alauda and subsequently Mirafra and Certhilauda, until moved to Calendulauda by the IOC in 2009.[2] Not all authorities have followed this taxonomy change.[3]


Four subspecies are recognized:[4]

  • C. a. codea - (Smith, A, 1843): Originally described as a separate species in the genus Alauda. Found on the western coast of South Africa
  • C. a. albescens - (Lafresnaye, 1839): Found in south-western South Africa
  • C. a. guttata - (Lafresnaye, 1839): Originally described as a separate species in the genus Alauda. Found in western South Africa
  • C. a. karruensis - Roberts, 1936: Found in southern South Africa

Formerly, some authorities considered both the dune lark (as Certhilauda albescens erythrochlamys) and Barlow's lark (as Certhilauda albescens barlowi) to be subspecies of the Karoo lark.[3][5]



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Calendulauda albescens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22717176A94523028. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22717176A94523028.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Taxonomy Version 2 « IOC World Bird List". www.worldbirdnames.org. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  3. ^ a b "Calendulauda albescens - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  4. ^ "IOC World Bird List 6.4". IOC World Bird List Datasets. doi:10.14344/ioc.ml.6.4.
  5. ^ "Calendulauda barlowi - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-11-19.

External links[edit]