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A trunkless Flycatcher?

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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 14:31   #1
Calalp
Björn Bergenholtz
 
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A trunkless Flycatcher?

This thread is started only as I happened to wonder about the obscure, unexplained scientific name ...

acormus as in:
• the invalid "Muscicapa acormus" HODGSON 1844 (Note: OD unseen, by me!) [Syn.* today's Muscicapa dauurica poonensis SYKES 1832 as "Muscicapa Poonensis"]

Today's HBW Alive Key gives us nothing more than:
Quote:
acormus
Etymology undiscovered; no explanation given (Hodgson 1844, in J. E. Gray, 1831-1844, Zool. Misc., VI, Cat. Nipalese Birds, no. 3, 84) (?syn Muscicapa sp.).
The thing that started my intersest is that acormus is (also?) a medical term for the lack of a trunk, explained as; "a fetal abnormality consisting of a head and extremities without a trunk". Sure makes one wonder in what shape Hodgson´s "type" specimen was ..!?

Or was it maybe only depicted by a head-figure and foot-figure? Such examples have we seen before ...

Have anyone (except James, of course) seen the OD?

It´s supposed to be found in Hodgson's Catalogue of Nipalese [sic] Birds, no. 3, published in J. E. Gray's Zoological Miscellany 6 (1844): p.84, which I cannot find online ...

Yes, a long-shot, I know ... once again I´m stumling out in those muddy Latin waters.

Take it for what it´s worth!

Björn

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*Regarding the synonymity; see here.

Last edited by Calalp : Saturday 18th November 2017 at 16:04.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 15:44   #2
l_raty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calalp View Post
Have anyone (except James, of course) seen the OD?
BHL has it now: [here].
But it's simply a name in a list of collected specimens. No description, no illustration, no reference, nothing.

κορμός is a trunk in Greek. Albeit, originally, only the trunk of a tree, I think; not that of a man or other animal.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 16:13   #3
Calalp
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Thanks Laurent! I´d apparently missed that update in BHL.
Quote:
Originally Posted by l_raty View Post
...
But it's simply a name in a list of collected specimens. No description, no illustration, no reference, nothing.
....
Not completely true ... as it does tell us "M. [Muscicapa] acormus, 478" ...
Quote:
The numbers after the names refer to the drawings and specimens, a nearly complete series of which has been sent to the British Museum.
Thereby I assume there ought to be more to look at!

It could maybe be hiding somewhere, in the vast Hodgson Project here! Who knows?
--

Last edited by Calalp : Saturday 18th November 2017 at 16:44. Reason: latter link
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 16:35   #4
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Or ... could it possibly, maybe (somehow!?) be a Typo/Printers error for "Muscicapa auricomis" LATHAM 1801 (here and here)?

Also See here.

Or am I (once again) all astray!?
--

Last edited by Calalp : Saturday 18th November 2017 at 16:41.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 17:29   #5
l_raty
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Hodgson sent specimens, as well as series of drawings, to the British Museum. These served as the base of the publication you linked in the footnote of your first post above. GR Gray compared Hodgson's specimens to others in the collection of the Museum, and these comparisons were used to derive the synonymies in the work. There, the older name Muscicapa poonensis is used as valid, with Hodgson's name placed in its synonymy. The details that are added under this species' name indicate, I think, that the Museum had received 4 specimens from Hodgson ("a-d."); a drawing of an adult in natural size appearing on the Passeres plate #207, figure #3; and a copy of this, with the foot, appearing on the Passeres plate #210, figure #3.

It may be that acormus was a typo for something else, but I don't think Latham's M. auricomis is a likely candidate. (This would imply that Gray's identification was really wildly incorrect. Sykes' M. poonensis is a ssp./syn. of M. latirostris; Latham's M. auricomis is the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater.)

The plates presumably still exist at the NHM; it might be interesting to know if they bear a name...

Last edited by l_raty : Saturday 18th November 2017 at 18:23.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 20:45   #6
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Could this one, from 1847, somehow be involved; "M. acornaus (Hodgson); Musc. pöonensis apud nos XI, 458." ..., here ... ?
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 22:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calalp View Post
Could this one, from 1847, somehow be involved; "M. acornaus (Hodgson); Musc. pöonensis apud nos XI, 458." ..., here ... ?
That one looks very much like an obvious spelling alteration of acormus Hodgson... (Even though it is given a completely different origin in the Key.)

Here, Blyth used this name for a bird that he had called poonensis Sykes 1832 at an earlier point: [here].
This cannot be interpreted as an incorrect subsequent spelling in the nomenclatural sense of the term, however, because the 'original' acormus was not made nomenclaturally available by earlier authors; as he also provided a description, Blyth made the name available with this spelling, for the taxon he applied it to.
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 09:16   #8
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Thanks Laurent, for yet another explanation.

Also note "Musc. acornaus of Central India, BLYTH ..." listed (by Jerdon, 1862, here) as a synonym of (No. 324) "Erythrosterna pusilla, Blyth", there listed directly before (No. 325) "Erythrosterna acornaus, Hodgs." (on the following page), both with the same reference ... ?!
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 10:02   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calalp View Post
Also note "Musc. acornaus of Central India, BLYTH ..." listed (by Jerdon, 1862, here) as a synonym of (No. 324) "Erythrosterna pusilla, Blyth", there listed directly before (No. 325) "Erythrosterna acornaus, Hodgs." (on the following page), both with the same reference ... ?!
Blyth originally used acornaus 'Hodgson' for birds from the SE Himalaya and C India, describing them as having rufescent-brown uppertail coverts, except for one Nepalese bird that had ashy uppertail coverts.
He later changed his mind and separated the birds with rufescent uppertail coverts as Erythrosterna pusilla Blyth [OD], while retaining acornaus 'Hodgson' for the birds with ashy uppertail coverts.
Jerdon follows this here, except that he attributes acornaus to Blyth rather than Hodgson.

"Musc. acornaus of Central India, BLYTH, J. A. S., XVI., 127." = the birds of Central India included in Musc. acornaus by Blyth in the Journal of the Asian Society, vol. 16, p. 127.
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 10:21   #10
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Ok, based on geography! Now I get it.
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