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Laniarius atrococcineus, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Corvida
Superfamilia: Corvoidea

Familia: Malaconotidae
Genus: Laniarius
Species: Laniarius atrococcineus

Laniarius atrococcineus (Burchell, 1822)

Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa 1 p.387,note

Vernacular names
suomi: Tulilepinkäinen

The crimson-breasted shrike (Laniarius atrococcineus) or the crimson-breasted gonolek, ('gonolek' - supposedly imitative of its call),[2] or the crimson-breasted boubou, is a southern African bird. It has black upper parts with a white flash on the wing, and bright scarlet underparts. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated it as a "least-concern species".[1]

The species was first collected by William John Burchell in 1811 near the confluence of the Vaal and Orange Rivers. He named it atrococcineus meaning 'black/red', finding the striking colour combination quite remarkable. The generic name Laniarius was coined by the French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot and was meant to call attention to the butcher-like habits of the group. In South West Africa its colours reminded Germans of their homeland flag and it therefore became the Reichsvogel ("Empire bird"). The species is closely related to two other bushshrikes, the yellow-crowned gonolek (Laniarius barbarus) and the black-headed gonolek (Laniarius erythrogaster) of East Africa, but DNA research has shown that it does not form a superspecies with the yellow-crowned gonolek (L. barbarus), the black-headed gonolek (L. erythrogaster) and the papyrus gonolek (L. mufumbiri), as previously thought.[3]

The sexes have the same colouration and are indistinguishable from each other. The upper parts, including the wings and tail, are black, the wings having a broad white bar. The underparts are vivid scarlet. A yellow-breasted form is occasionally seen, and was at first thought to be a separate species. Young birds have a mottled and barred buff-brown appearance with a pale bill.[4]

This shrike is extremely nimble and restless, its penetrating whistles often being the first sign of its presence, although it is not a shy species.[4]
Distribution and habitat

The crimson-breasted shrike is non-migratory and occurs in a broad swathe from southern Angola to the Free State province in South Africa and Northern Cape. Its preferred habitat is drier thornbush areas, in thickets and riparian scrub. It makes small seasonal migrations, preferring lower altitudes during cold periods.[4]

BirdLife International (2016). "Laniarius atrococcineus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22707586A94130782. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22707586A94130782.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
"Shrike". Universalium. Academic. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
Fry, H. "Crimson-breasted Shrike (Laniarius atrococcineus)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 29 October 2016.

Harris, Tony (2010). Shrikes and Bush-shrikes: Including Wood-shrikes, Helmet-shrikes, Shrike Flycatchers, Philentomas, Batises and Wattle-eyes. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 245–246. ISBN 978-1-4081-3459-7.

Tarboton Warwick (1971): Breeding biology of the Crimson-breasted Shrike at Olifantsfontein, Transvaal. Ostrich 42: 271-290
Merkle Tobias (2006): Territoriality, breeding biology and vocalisations of the Crimson-breasted Shrike. Ostrich 77:136-141

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