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Grey or Gray in Red-bellied Fruit-dove Ptilinopus greyii alt. P. greyi

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Old Thursday 22nd August 2013, 12:55   #1
Björn Bergenholtz
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Grey or Gray in Red-bellied Fruit-dove Ptilinopus greyii alt. P. greyi

Who is Grey (or Gray?) in Red-bellied Fruit-dove Ptilinopus greyii alt P. greyi (!?) BONAPARTE 1857?

There seem to be some contradictions in various sources regarding who he was!?

But ... before we start to quote different references: is there anyone out there who feel up to the task of translating the type description from French to English?

Here´s a transcription of it: Bonaparte, C. L. 1857. Iconographie des Pigeons ... Plate 20. :

Pl. XX

PTILOPUS minor; læte viridis; subtus cinereo-virens; …´
[ ]
PTILOPUS PURPURATUS, Bp. Consp., II, p. 19, sp. 1. – Id. Compt. rend. Acad. Sc., p. 7, et Tabl., p. 54, sp. 39, nec Auct.
PTILOPUS PURPURATUS, Gray, List of Spec. of Brit. Mus., 1856, p. 4, sp. 8.
GREY'S FRUIT PIGEON, Gray, loc. cit

Nous avons eu tort dʼappeler Ptilopus purpuratus cette brilliante espèce rapportée, depuis 1829, de lʼile Vanikoro, au Muséum, par l'Astrolabe. Ce nʼest pas même la Columba purpurata de Wagler, et encore moins la purpurata de Gmelin et Latham. Plus courageux que nous, M. Gray vient dʼen faire une espèce nouvelle, d'après des individus des îles des Pins, déposés au Musée Britannique, et il ne nous reste plus quʼà adopter son nom de Ptilopus greyi. Cʼest en honneur du Gouverneur dʼune grand partie de lʼAustralie, bien connu par son amour pour la science, que ce nom, si semblable au sien propre, a été imposé à notre Pigeon par le savant Ornithologiste anglais. Cʼest par M. Mac Gillivray, fils de lʼélégant écrivain qui fut la providence dʼAudubon et contribua tant à sa gloire scientifique, mais surtout littéraire, par ce zélé naturaliste du vaisseau le Rattlesnake (Serpent à sonnettes), que cette espèce a été rapportée en Angleterre de lʼarchipel de la Loyauté (Loyalty Islands), comme par le gouverneur Gray, de lʼ îles des Pins.[/SIZE]
And please don´t hesitate to remark on any typing errors, misapplications or other mistakes I might have done. Since I don´t know French I guess there could easily be a few ...

Original Work accessible at:

Plate XX attached.

The following is cited from Alan P Peterson/Zoonomen
Ptilinopus greyi Nomenclature
•This name is spelled, almost universally with a double -ii ending (greyii).
•Examination of the original work (on-line shows the original spelling to be greyi both on the plate and in the text.
•Usually in cases such as this, the emendation results from authors following the CBBM, but remarkably in this instance CBBM 21:85 spells the name "Ptilinopus greyi", with the single -i ending! However confusion is added by the synonomy listing where the original description by Bonaparte is listed (with others) as "Ptilinopus greyii".
•In the original description, the only individuals mentioned in the text are named Gray, but as the name is cited to the plate, this fact may have no bearing on the matter.
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Old Thursday 22nd August 2013, 18:29   #2
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We were wrong to call this brilliant species brought back by the Astrolabe from the island Vanikoro to the museum in 1829 Ptilinops purpuratus.. It is not the even the Columba purpurata from Wagler and even less the purpurata of Gmelin and Linnaeus. More courageous than us, Mr. Gray came to make it a new species, based on specimens from the Iles de Pins, deposited in the British Museum, and nothing remains for us but to adopt his name of Ptilinopus greyi. It is in the honour of the governor of a large part of Australia, well known for his love of science, that this name, even if it resembles his own, was given to our pigeon by the knowledgeable ornithologist.

It is by Mr. MacGillivray, son of the elegant writer who was the luck of Audubon and contributed so much to his scientific, but above all literary, glory, by that zealous naturalist of the ship Rattlesnake, that this species was brought to England from the Loyalty Islands, as it was by governor [erroneous?] Gray from the Isles des Pins.
The courageous taxonomist is quite likely George Robert Gray; the governor must be Sir George Grey.
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Old Thursday 22nd August 2013, 18:29   #3
James Jobling
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Capt. Sir George Grey (1812-1898) British Army, explorer in Australia, Lt.-Gov. of South Australia 1841-1845, Gov. of New Zealand 1846-1854, 1861-1867, Gov. and C-i-C of Cape Colony 1855-1859.
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Old Friday 23rd August 2013, 10:55   #4
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G. R. Gray coined the name "greyii" after Sir George Grey

Thank you for the translation. It surely straightened out a few question-marks! So; Mr Gray (it is George Robert!) proposed the name greyi after (the similarly named) "... his Excellency Sir George Grey".

Here´s the work that Bonaparte refered to 1857 (when he described "greyi"):
G. R. Gray. 1856. List of the specimens of birds in the collection of the British Museum, Page 4, Specie 8.

... and quoting you dictionary (2010): "Prime Minister of New Zeeland 1877-1879."

Additional info on Sir George Gray:

Does anyone know why "greyii" (as is mostly used today) has priority over "greyi"? Mr Gray's text (as shown in the attached files) isn´t much of a type description, or is that enough?
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