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Melanocorypha

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Passeroidea
Familia: Alaudidae
Genus: Melanocorypha
Species: M. bimaculata - M. calandra - M. leucoptera - M. maxima - M. mongolica - M. yeltoniensis

Name

Melanocorypha Boie, 1828

Melanocorypha is a small genus of birds in the lark family. Its members mainly occur in temperate Asia from Turkey through Central Asia to China, but the Calandra Lark also has an extensive European distribution around the Mediterranean

These larks are mostly partially migratory, moving relatively short distances from the coldest parts of their ranges. Several species are very rare vagrants to western Europe.

These are birds of open cultivation, steppe or semi-desert. They nest on the ground and the young are precocial. The food is seeds supplemented with insects especially in the breeding season. They are gregarious outside the breeding season.

Melanocorypha larks are large, robust birds, 16.5-20 cm long with strong thick bills. Some have the typically undistinguished lark plumage, mainly streaked greyish-brown above and white below, but the, Black and White-winged Larks have distinctive male plumages. Several species have large black patches on the breast sides.

In flight they show broad wings and a shortish tail. The songs of most species are like that of the Skylark.

Species in taxonomic order

* Calandra Lark, Melanocorypha calandra
* Bimaculated Lark, Melanocorypha bimaculata
* Tibetan Lark, Melanocorypha maxima
* Mongolian Lark, Melanocorypha mongolica
* White-winged Lark, Melanocorypha leucoptera
* Black Lark, Melanocorypha yeltoniensis


References

Simms, Eric (author), Arlott, Norman (illustrator) Larks, Pipits and Wagtails(Collins New Naturalist, 1992) ISBN 0002198711

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