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Prince Henri's Tit (-warbler) identity ... ?

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Old Tuesday 10th December 2019, 13:44   #1
Calalp
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Prince Henri's Tit (-warbler) identity ... ?

Here´s a small spin off from Joek's recent sophiae sidetrack (posts # 352-361) in thread HBWAlive Key; mission accomplished or mission impossible?, regarding ...

henrici as in:
• the invalid "Arboricola Henrici" OUSTALET 1896 (here), all in French (and Latin), with a clear dedicatee*:
Quote:
... : l'un ayant été donné au Muséum par le prince Henri d'Orléans, qui l'avait obtenu à Maïson (Tonkin) le 20 février 1892 , dans le cours de son premier voyage en Indo-Chine ; ...
Thereby I see no reason what-so-ever to doubt the etymology, but I hesitate somewhat on the true Identity ... ?

Compare with the Type of "Arboricola Henrici", in the collections of MNHN (Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle), on the socket marked "Parus Henrici", here, there noted (as well as in today's Key), as a synonym of the White-browed Tit-Warbler Leptopoecile sophiae.

But ... that certain (Type) specimen clearly have a black cap!?!

Regardless of the (normally vast) ornithological knowledge of the MNHN, to me (without digging into it any deeper), this bird looks more like a (very slender) Marsh/Willow Tit (Parus) Poecile sp. or/alt. some Eastern ssp. According to the Richmond card (here): "Allied to A. torqueola". Which of today's taxa is that? Of course, it couldn't be allied to today's (Common) Hill Partridge (Arboricola) Arborophila torqueola (Valenciennes, 1825) ...

Anyone who can figure out the identity of this "Type"?

Björn

PS. Not to confuse with today's Tibetan snowfinch Montifringilla henrici OUSTALET 1892, as "Eurhinospiza Henrici" (commemorating the same guy), a k a or Henri's snowfinch.
_______________________________________
* the French Prince Henri Philippe Marie d’Orléans (1867–1901).
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Old Tuesday 10th December 2019, 18:27   #2
l_raty
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There are too many "henrici Oustalet" around to avoid drowning in confusion...

The bird is clearly misidentified on the website, but the name you make it the type of, doesn't appear correct either.

- Arboricola henrici Oustalet 1896 is now Arborophila brunneopectus henrici (Oustalet). (I.e., it's a partridge -- and, yes, the torqueola to which this taxon is related is really Perdix torqueola Valenciennes 1825. Check the measurements in the OD -- it's a bird that is 25.5-32 cm long.)
- The "henrici Oustalet" that is a syn. Leptopoecile sophiae is Leptopoecile henrici Oustalet 1891 [here] / [here].
- The bird on the Europeana portal is neither of these. As you note it is labelled "Parus henrici Oustalet", which is a name that right now I find only [here], where it was not actually used as valid. (If it was never used as valid, it's not an available name, which may explain that it is not listed in nomenclators.) There, Oustalet merely states that he would have applied this name, "(Parus Henrici, Oust. ms.)", to a bird he thought to be new, before he re-identified it as a probable young "Parus atriceps var. bochariensis Licht." That is, what we now call Parus major bokharensis Lichtenstein 1823.
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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 08:29   #3
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James has added it to the Key now:
Quote:
henrici / henricii
  • Henri Philippe Marie Prince d’Orléans (1867-1901) French explorer, collector in Siberia, Tibet, China, Indochina and tropical Africa (subsp. Alophoixus pallidus, subsp. Arborophila brunneopectus, subsp. Carpodacus sibiricus, syn. Leptopoecile sophiae, Montifringilla, syn. Parus major bokharensis (Björn Bergenholtz and Laurent Raty in litt.), subsp. Tetraogallus tibetanus, Trochalopteron).
  • [...]
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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 08:47   #4
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Thanks Laurent, for yet another elucidating explanation, and for preventing me from "drowning in confusion". I was just about to ...

So MNHN (or/alt. the Europeana portal) truly was/is in error (like I suspected), but I couldn't figure out how (simply as there were no other closer, or more fitting, Passerine than the sophiae one, listed among the synonyms in the Key). But now there is! After your replies (and James's latest update) this case makes better sense. I´m on dry land (at least somewhat drier).

henrici ... (on my part) over and out!

Björn

PS. Even if it's a bit disturbing having to realize that also references from normally trustworthy sources, in some cases, can be suspected as possibly false. It sure doesn't make the "job" easier ...
--

Last edited by Calalp : Wednesday 11th December 2019 at 11:36. Reason: typos, sigh!
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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 09:53   #5
l_raty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calalp View Post
simply as there were no other closer, or more fitting, Passerine than the sophiae one
The source of the error on the Europeana portal was likely something similar. The bird is labelled "Parus Henrici Oust."; the only "henrici Oust." listed in nomenclators and belonging to a genus that might plausibly be assimilated to Parus is the Leptopoecile -- thus the bird must be this. (Even if it doesn't look like one.)
I wonder what actual info is associated to this specimen in the MNHN collection itself. There is a link to the catalogue on the Europeana page but it just leads to a page that says "Restricted". (The same "Restricted" page is also found by searching the MNHN collection page for the specimen number, "MO-1890-533".)

Anyway, I still think Oustalet didn't really do a great job in naming so many different birds "henrici". It's hardly surprising that this would end up causing confusion.
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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 10:59   #6
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If I understand correctly, the original description states that the specimen was collected in Tonkin (now in northern Vietnam).

If this is the case, surely it is highly unlikely that the specimen relates to Parus major bokharensis, which is a central Asian taxon occurring several thousand km from Tonkin.

It does seem to be a juvenile from the Great Tit complex, but is surely most likely to be the taxon occurring in that area - which I think should be commixtus, another taxon with grey upperparts and pale underparts, similar to bokharensis.
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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 12:02   #7
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Parus Henrici is a manuscript name given by Oustalet to a specimen collected at "Tcharkent (Sibérie)" in 1889. Subsequently he realised that this was probably a young "Parus cinereus bochariensis." (see enclosure to #2 above).
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Old Wednesday 11th December 2019, 12:51   #8
l_raty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnallcock View Post
If I understand correctly, the original description states that the specimen was collected in Tonkin (now in northern Vietnam).
Tonkin is where one of the types of Arboricola henrici Oustalet was collected -- but Arboricola henrici Oustalet is not Parus henrici Oustalet.


The original socle of the Parus henrici specimen (second image on the Europeana portal -- for a direct access: [here]) says:
Quote:
Parus Henrici ♂
Type. (Oust.)
Bonvalot et le Pr-ce H. d'Orléans.
Turkestan. | Steppes avant Kuldja.
C.G. 1890 | n° 533
n° 10 voyageur.
According to this, the bird would come from Turkestan, in the steppes before "Kuldja", which is an old name for today's Yining, NW Xinjiang.


The published "description" says:
Quote:
Un mâle (n° 10 cat. voy.) tué le 20 août 1889, à Tcharkent (Sibérie).
So what is "Tcharkent (Sibérie)" ? Henri d'Orléans wrote, in 1891, in De Paris au Tonkin par terre (which is a relation of the trip he made with Bonvalot, during which the bird was collected):
Quote:
[...] la plaine qui borde le lac Balkhach, et à la limite de laquelle s'élève la petite ville de Tcharkent [...]
(See also the map showing their itinerary in the same publication.)
This "Tcharkent", here described as a small town at the limit of the plain bordering Lake Balkhash, is presumably today's Zharkent (Жаркент, formerly Джаркент), Kazakhstan.


From Zharkent to Yining, there is roughly 100 km as the crow flies. If you look at their itinerary (the map doesn't show "Tcharkent", but it shows "Kouldja"), it seems quite plausible that they passed Zharkent before reaching Yining. Thus the two localities, although stated in quite different terms, seem actually compatible.
And within the range of bokharensis, I think.

Last edited by l_raty : Wednesday 11th December 2019 at 21:09.
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Old Thursday 12th December 2019, 01:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l_raty View Post
Tonkin is where one of the types of Arboricola henrici Oustalet was collected -- but Arboricola henrici Oustalet is not Parus henrici Oustalet.
OK, thanks for the clarification. Looking back, it's clear I just misunderstood some of the earlier discussion.
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