SPECIES

Jungle Prinia Prinia sylvatica

Anand Krishnan and Steve Madge
Version: 2.0 — Published September 17, 2020

Systematics

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Subspecies

Northern subspecies gangetica intergrades with nominate sylvatica in central India. Five subspecies recognized.


SUBSPECIES

Prinia sylvatica insignis

Systematics History

P. s. insignis (Hume, 1872)

Distribution

Gujarat (including Kutch and Kathiawar), and Western Rajasthan, India

Identification

Paler and grayer than nominate, with more white in tail in breeding plumage (1, 2). Bill is broadly similar to nominate, with bill black on the upper mandible, pinkish on the lower mandible. Iris is light/pale brown.


SUBSPECIES

Prinia sylvatica gangetica

Systematics History

P. s. gangetica (Blyth, 1867)

Distribution

Occurs in the Northern Indian Subcontinent from Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), and Punjab eastward through northern Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and northern Bengal, India. Also occurs in the far western terai of Nepal and northwestern Bangladesh (1), although no recent records.

Identification

Darker and browner than insignis (1).


SUBSPECIES

Prinia sylvatica mahendrae

Systematics History

P. s. mahendrae Koelz, 1939

Distribution

Mahendra Giri (Odisha), in eastern India.

Identification

Dark cinnamon above, very gray below, with finely spotted cheek and grayish supercilium in the non breeding season (1).


SUBSPECIES

Prinia sylvatica sylvatica

Systematics History

P. s. sylvatica Jerdon, 1840

Distribution

Peninsular India from Maharashtra and northern Madhya Pradesh (where it intergrades with gangetica) south to Kanyakumari.

Identification

See Plumages.


SUBSPECIES

Prinia sylvatica valida

Systematics History

P. s. valida (Blyth, 1851)

Distribution

All zones of Sri Lanka up to 1,800 m(1).

Identification

Breeding and non-breeding plumages alike, is darker above than nominate, with no hint of super­cilium, and has longer and stronger bill (1, 2). Bill and mouth are similar to nominate, but lower mandible is grayish (1). Iris is light/pale brown.

Related Species

A study of the Striated-Brown Prinia (P. crinigera-polychroa) complex used this species as an outgroup for phylogenetic analysis (3). It appears to be sister to the entire complex phylogenetically, and may represent a Subcontinental offshoot of this complex of large prinias, which are found from the Himalayas to Southeast Asia. However, more work is required to resolve the relationships of Jungle Prinia relative to others in this large and diverse genus, including much more comprehensive sampling of the genus. More broadly, the genus Prinia appears to be sister to the tailorbirds in the genus Orthotomus (4), where they are part of the Priniinae subfamily in the family Cisticolidae (5).

Recommended Citation

Krishnan, A. and S. Madge (2020). Jungle Prinia (Prinia sylvatica), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.junpri1.02