This species is endemic to Madagascar and some Comoro Islands. It inhabits woodland habitats.
This small Vanga is distinctive by its bright blue upperparts and white underparts.
Madagascar and Comoro Islands. Three subspecies are currently recognized (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009):
• bensoni Louette & Herremans, 1982 - Grand Comoro
• comorensis (Shelley, 1894) - Mohéli
• madagascarinus (Linnaeus, 1766) - Madagascar
More information about the distribution of the several subspecies is available at ibc.lynxeds.com.
Adults have bright blue upperparts (incl. head), white underparts (incl. throat) and brilliant pale blue bill. Female is somewhat duller than male (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).
Juveniles have grey-blue upperparts (incl. head) and black bill.
Length: 16-19 cm (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009)
Habitat and Ecology
Nominate race on Madagascar inhabits deciduous dry forest in W and evergreen humid forest in E; Comoro races are found in all types of woodland (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).
Movements and dispersal
Probably mainly sedentary (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).
It feeds on insects and occasionally berries. It often feeds while hanging from its feet, upside-down, in leaf clusters near ends of thin branches (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common (Morris and Hawkins 1998 in BirdLife International 2011). Only the bensoni race on Grand Comoro is extremely rare, believed possibly extinct by some authors (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Comoro races bensoni and comorensis possibly represent a separate species, differing from nominate race madagascarinus in plumage and voice (Yamagishi & Nakamura 2009).
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The blue vanga (Cyanolanius madagascarinus) is a bird species in the family Vangidae. It is in the monotypic genus Cyanolanius. The taxon comorensis, by most authorities considered a subspecies of the blue vanga, has occasionally been considered a separate species, the Comoro blue vanga (Cyanolanius comorensis).
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