Icterine greenbul

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Icterine greenbul
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Phyllastrephus
P. icterinus
Binomial name
Phyllastrephus icterinus
(Bonaparte, 1850)
Phyllastrephus icterinus distribution map.png
  • Phyllastrephus leucolepis
  • Trichophorus icterinus

The icterine greenbul (Phyllastrephus icterinus) is a species of songbird in the bulbul family, Pycnonotidae. It is found in western and central Africa.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The icterine greenbul was originally described in the genus Trichophorus (a synonym for Criniger).[2] The term icterine refers to its yellowish colouration. Formerly, some authorities have considered Sassi's greenbul to be a subspecies of the icterine greenbul.[3][4] Alternate names for the icterine greenbul include the lesser icterine bulbul and lesser icterine greenbul.

Liberian greenbul[edit]

Until 2018, a rare colour morph of the icterine greenbul from the Cavalla forest in south-eastern Liberia was believed to be a separate species. The Liberian greenbul (Phyllastrephus leucolepis) was known from only a few sightings between 1981 and 1984, and a specimen collected in 1984.[5] This specimen is now considered to have been a plumage aberration. A 2017 DNA analysis revealed that the bird(s) were common icterine greenbuls, albeit with unusual plumage colouring, which may have been caused by a nutritional deficiency.[6] Alternative names for the Liberian greenbul included the spot-winged bulbul, spot-winged greenbul and white-winged greenbul.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The icterine greenbul is found in Africa from Guinea to Ghana; southern Nigeria to western and southern Uganda, eastern and central Democratic Republic of the Congo and extreme north-western Angola.[7] Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and moist savanna.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Phyllastrephus icterinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Phyllastrephus icterinus - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  3. ^ "Phyllastrephus lorenzi - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  4. ^ "Phyllastrephus leucolepis - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  5. ^ Wehner, Mike (6 October 2017). "Scientists spent 40 years searching for a bird that never existed". New York Post. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  6. ^ Press Association (13 November 2017). "One of the world's most elusive songbirds may never have existed". Independent.ie. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Bulbuls « IOC World Bird List". www.worldbirdnames.org. Retrieved 2017-05-04.

Further reading[edit]

  • Collinson, J.M.; Päckert, M.; Lawrie, Y.; Gatter, W.; Töpfer, T.; Phalan, B.; Fishpool, L. (2017). "Taxonomic status of the Liberian Greenbul Phyllastrephus leucolepis and the conservation importance of the Cavalla Forest, Liberia". Journal of Ornithology. doi:10.1007/s10336-017-1477-0.

External links[edit]