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Priority! The dating of scientific names in ornithology

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... A more recent molecular study is congruent with these results, as olive birds grouped together vs. grey and streaked birds (Alvarez et al. 2016). Both studies shed light on the taxonomic relationships between the different morphotypes, but the nomenclatural confusion remains unresolved, because grey-coloured birds with a dark cap were originally described as S. atriceps (Salvin 1863, Salvin & Godman 1879-1904, meaning that using the name S. pinus perplexus for grey birds with a dark cap violates the International code of zoological nomenclature (ICZN 1999, Dickinson et al. 2011. ...
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We present an update on the status and distribution of birds in Guatemala relative to a previous summary (Eisermann & Avendaño 2007) and based upon a review of new published and unpublished records. During the period 2006 to 2017, 50 species were first documented in Guatemala. Another 11 species were reported for the first time but without verifiable documentation. Breeding was newly confirmed for 58 species. Noteworthy observations, including range extensions, are summarised for 131 species. The Guatemalan avifauna now comprises 758 species of which 23 lack documentation. Of the 758 species, 509 breed in Guatemala, 240 are non-breeding visitors, transients or vagrants, and the status of nine is uncertain.
... Given the statement that Hume (1875b) made regarding the time period over which specimens considered in that paper had been collected, it appears highly improbable that his type description earlier in the same issue would have been based on specimens taken later than March 1875. Supporting this, given that the issue is dated May 1875, which is accepted as the true date of publication (Pittie 2006, Dickinson et al. 2011, and that Hume presumably wrote his type description at his home in Simla, north-west India, whereas Davison was collecting in southern Burma, the logistics alone make it unlikely that he would have had later specimens to hand. Of the first nine specimens in Table 1, it therefore appears that claims to syntype status for 7-9, all taken in April 1875, should be considered very doubtful. ...
... As Thamnophilus cyanocephalus Vieillot, 1816predates Platyrhynchos polychopterus Vieillot, 1818b[Date of publication: 26 Dec 1818, according to Mathews (1925 and Dickinson et al. (2011)] and Bertoni (1901) validated its usage, it is an available name for the White-winged Becard. However in the interests of stability we declare Thamnophilus cyanocephalus Vieillot, 1816 a nomen oblitum in order to maintain current usage (ICZN 1999: Recommendation 23A). ...
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The nomenclatural history of three species described by Vieillot based on the descriptions of Félix de Azara is examined. Adherent to the Principle of Priority under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, old available names and senior synonyms are identified for the thraupid Uniform Finch Haplospiza plumbea (Vieillot, 1818a); tyrannid Tropical Pewee Contopus sylvestris (Vieillot, 1816); and tityrid White-winged Becard Pachyramphus cyanocephalus (Vieillot, 1816). These names were based respectively on Azara's Number 111 "Pico de punzón obscuro aplomado", Number 168 "Tachurí obscurito mayor" and Number 217 "Batará obscuro y negro". It is recommended that these names should all be suppressed as nomina oblita in the interests of stability.
... The most difficult aspect of this study has involved the consultation of the original references for the generic circumscriptions and type species designations. For this, we found the digitalized versions of most of these through the invaluable collections of the Biodiversity Heritage Library, Gallica and the Zoonomen index; for the most complicated cases, including those of Lesson and Gould (who published their works in numerous installments for which assigning dates was often difficult) we have relied on the reviews by Coues (1879), Cretella (2005) and Dickinson et al. (2011). ...
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The generic nomenclature of the hummingbirds is unusually complicated. McGuire et al.’s (2014) recent phylogeny of the Trochilidae based on DNA sequence data has greatly clarified relationships within the family but conflicts strongly with the traditional classification of the family at the genus level, especially that of the largest and most recently derived clade, the Trochilini or “emeralds”. We recently presented a historical review of this classification and the generic modifications required by the Code of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. Herein we present a revised generic classification of the Trochilini based upon McGuire et al.’s genetic data, while producing diagnosable generic groupings and preserving nomenclatural stability insofar as possible. However, this generic rearrangement has necessitated the resurrection of nine generic names currently considered synonyms, the synonymization of seven currently recognized genera and the creation of one new genus. The generic changes we recommend to the classification are drastic, and we summarize these in tabular form in comparison with the three most recent classifications of the Trochilini. Where appropriate, we outline alternatives to our proposed arrangement. The classification treats 110 species in 35 genera, including two species that remain unplaced for lack of genetic samples.
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A recent comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the Picidae recovered the genus Dinopium as paraphyletic, with Olive-backed Woodpecker D. rafflesii sister to Pale-headed Woodpecker Gecinulus grantia. Of the available taxonomic responses, we favour assigning D. rafflesii to its own genus, in line with the modern trend to recognise more and smaller genera. Several genus names were used for rafflesii between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, of which Chloropicoides Malherbe, 1849, is the oldest. Available information suggests, however, that it was not Malherbe's intention to designate rafflesii as the type of his new genus, but that in near-simultaneously publishing two works on the Picidae he inadvertently introduced Chloropicoides first in combination solely with rafflesii, making it the type species by monotypy. Should it be proven that his other, more detailed paper was in fact published first, then another Malherbe genus, Gauropicoides, could be used by those who seek to recognise the distinctiveness of rafflesii.
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In the scientific literature, the availability, authorship, date and onomatophore of the four generic nomina of lizards "Platydactyles", "Hemidactyles", "Thecadactyles" and Ptyodactyles" published by Cuvier (1816) and of the genus nomen of toads "Otilophes" published by Cuvier (1829) as French scientific nomina in the plural, and of their latinised forms, are credited to various authors. After a careful analysis, these nomina are here attributed respectively to Goldfuss (1820) for Platydactylus, Hemidactylus, Thecadactylus and Ptyodactylus, to Wagler (1830) for Otilophus and to Tschudi (1838) for Osilophus. Solutions are proposed to various other nomenclatural problems related to these and related nomina. Attention is drawn again to the fact that the Code’s Rules concerning specific epithets and generic substantives being ‘unmodified vernacular words’, as well as those distinguishing ‘unjustified emendations’ from ‘incorrect subsequent spellings’ are deficient. In order to solve all these nomenclatural cases, we had to resort to 20 Articles of the Code (3.2, 11.2, 11.3, 11.6, 11.7, 11.8, 21.2, 21.3, 23.9, 24.2, 30.2, 32.5, 33.2, 33.3, 35.4, 40.2, 50.1, 57.3, 67.8 and 68.3) and to 59 technical nomenclatural terms. This highlights the fact that nomenclatural problems concerning old nomina cannot be properly dealt with in a hurry and without a good, but also critical, knowledge of the Code, and that the use of a more detailed terminology than that of the Code facilitates such a work.
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To the review of the ornithology of the voyage of La Coquille by Dickinson et al. (2015) we add three birds named as new species, overlooked for different reasons: 1. Diomedea epomophora, the current name of the Southern Royal Albatross; 2. Todiramphus sacer, a synonym of the Chattering Kingfisher Todiramphus tutus; 3. Dromiceius novaezelandiae, the second name applied to a kiwi and evidently an available senior synonym of the North Island Brown Kiwi Apteryx mantelli. The La Coquille expedition introduced the indigenous name 'kiwi' to ornithology; it is now the common name applied to birds of the family Apterygidae.
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Several original descriptions of birds and mammals appeared in the Catalogue des Mammifères, Oiseaux, Reptiles, Poissons et Mollusques testacés marins, observés dans lʹarrondissement d'Abbeville, published by Louis Antoine François Baillon in the Mémoires de la Société Royale d'Emulation d'Abbeville. Although it is generally accepted that Baillon's Catalogue was published in 1834, recent publications and online databases mention the year 1833. For the sake of nomenclature stability and taxon dating we provide here evidence that Baillonʹs Catalogue was released in 1834. Beside Anser brachyrhynchus which is currently in use as a valid name, nine other taxon names are concerned (four mammals and five birds).
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a new bird described in France in 1964 appeared in two journals almost simultaneously. Each source has been cited and this note firmly establishes the precedence between the two and thus the source work to cite.
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