Mongolian Short-toed Lark Calandrella dukhunensis Scientific name definitions

Per Alström and Sundev Gombobaatar
Version: 2.0 — Published September 17, 2021


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Systematics History

Mongolian Short-toed Lark was until recently considered conspecific with Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla), but it has been found to be most closely related to Hume's Lark (Calandrella acutirostris) based on mitochondrial DNA (1, 2, 3), confirmed by nuclear genome-wide RADseq data (12).

Additional support that Mongolian Short-toed Lark is not conspecific with Greater Short-toed Lark comes from the pronounced differences in vocalizations and song-flight (4).

Geographic Variation

No geographical variation has been noted, and because of the small distribution with rather homogeneous habitats there is probably none.


Monotypic. Synonym: Calandrella cinerea puii Yamashina, 1939, which was described based on specimens collected in Nei Menggu Province., China in late April to early May 1935 (see 4).

Related Species

Mongolian Short-toed Lark is most closely related to Hume's Lark. The divergence time between these two has been variously estimated at ca 4 million years ago (mya) (95% CI 2.5–5.2 mya) (1), 3.1 mya (95% CI 2.1–4.2 mya) or 3.8 mya (95% CI 2.3–5.5 mya) in different analyses (2), or 3.3 mya (95% CI 2.3–4.2 mya) (3). These two species form a clade together with Greater Short-toed Lark and Red-capped Lark (C. cinerea). The relationships within this clade are somewhat uncertain due to different results in different analyses, but the main evidence suggests that Greater Short-toed Lark is the sister species to the clade with Mongolian Short-toed Lark + Hume's Lark, with Red-capped Lark being the sister species to the three others (2).


Synonyms of the English name include Sykes's Short-toed Lark.

Recommended Citation

Alström, P. and S. Gombobaatar (2021). Mongolian Short-toed Lark (Calandrella dukhunensis), 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.sstlar4.02