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HBWAlive Key; mission accomplished or mission impossible?

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Old Tuesday 23rd June 2020, 17:24   #551
James Jobling
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Latin urica and uruca are readings (i.e. variants) for eruca caterpillar, canker-worm.
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Old Tuesday 23rd June 2020, 19:43   #552
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"Merops urica"

As the diet of today's Chestnut-headed Bee-eater species Merops leschenaulti (like most Bee-eaters) seems to be flying/winged insects, primarily; honeybees, wasps, moths, or winged termites or ditto ants, but also dragonflies, butterflies, crickets, locusts and grasshoppers, does anyone know if the Javan/Indonesian ssp. M. l. quinticolor have a preference for an urica, or any "caterpillar, canker-worm" ... ?

Or would such an allusion (as in a possible phagonym) necessarily have resulted in an uric/a/o/-vorus (or however it would have turned out) alt./or a ditto -phagus, etc., etc. ...?

If not; it was worth a try.

/B
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Old Tuesday 23rd June 2020, 20:05   #553
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It would be interesting to learn what the Javanese name Pirik means. I had always assumed it was onomatopoeic, but perhaps it stands for "caterpillar-eater"?!
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Old Wednesday 24th June 2020, 05:02   #554
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Horsfield 32 years later calls it Pirik Bee-eater Pirik Java
https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/...e/124/mode/1up .
He did not call it a pirik-eater.
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Old Wednesday 24th June 2020, 09:29   #555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calalp View Post
Followed by some words in Old-school English:
Quote:
"A palmer worine, also the be[unreadable] rocket. Hor."
"Hor.," for Horace ... with a rocket?
I'd read the original image as "A palmer worme, also the hearbe rocket.", where I suspect 'worme' is an old way to write for 'worm', 'palmer worme' may refer to a worm found on palm trees, and 'hearbe' is an old way to write 'herb'.
The "hearbe rocket" = rocket, roquette, ruchetta, rucola, etc. is Eruca vesicaria / E. sativa, an edible plant commonly used, i.a., in Italian cuisine.
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Old Wednesday 24th June 2020, 21:10   #556
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Quote:
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It would be interesting to learn what the Javanese name Pirik means. I had always assumed it was onomatopoeic, but perhaps it stands for "caterpillar-eater"?!
I doubt that it's even onomatopoetic, because I found this page Systomus rubripinnis (Valenciennes, 1842) online. It's a fish, and the page claims it's called "Pirik" (and several other things) in Javanese.

Yes, this is totally unhelpful in determining the meaning of "Pirik" in Javanese. But it certainly reduces the possibilities. It would probably be more practical to find somebody who speaks Javanese and ask them.
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Old Wednesday 24th June 2020, 22:14   #557
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Merops urica

In this Indonesian-English Dictionary we find one possible clue, that might, maybe could be somewhat related to any Bee-eater, catching bees and other flying insects:
Quote:
Pirik II (M) memirik to pinch, squeeze
With such an interpretation it could, possibly indicate that the Javanese locals called it something, in the meaning the pincher, the one who snatch, like snap (the snapper), the "bee-snapper" (or a "fly-catcher"). The one catching, pinching (bees and other flying insects).

However, I doubt it has anything to do with: "Pirik III" I've never seen any Bee-eater perform such an act. [Not even on a Red Snapper].

Either way; how this would, or if it even could, be turned into urica is far, far beyond my understanding.

Take it for what it´s worth. If anything at all.

Björn

PS. It is not to confuse with the same name, of the recently described beetle "Cregya urica Opitz n. sp." (from October 2019, here, pp.70-72):
"Etymology. – The trivial name, urica, constitutes a noun in apposition and refers to the type locality."
... with the Holotype from "URICA, (Venezuela)".


That's too, too far away from Java, Indonesia.
---

Last edited by Calalp : Wednesday 24th June 2020 at 22:25. Reason: my usual typo
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 03:51   #558
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In 1845 in Encyclopædia Metropolitana; M. urica is called Flaming Bee-eater. Page 114.
https://books.google.com/books?id=I1...20Java&f=false if of any use. If the bird eats moths and butterflies it likely eats their larva.
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 09:16   #559
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Merops urica

Reichenbach (1851) says: HORSFIELD beschrieb im Jahre 1821 ... seinen Merops Urica mit Anführung des javanischen Namen ,,Pirik" aus Java, ..." (here, pp.63-64, with "Meropinae" starting on p.45), all in German. If of any help/use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mb1848 View Post
...
If the bird eats moths and butterflies it likely eats their larva.
Regarding the possible connection to its food preferences, in Kelaart's Prodromus Faunæ Zeylanicæ (from 1852, here), he wrote (about its synonym quinticolor): "They are sometimes seen in small flocks of six or eight searching for food, which chiefly consist of Coleopterus insects." (i.e. Beetles?)

Wouldn't that be an odd diet for a (or any) Bee-eater (hunting mainly beetles, on the ground, alt. flying ones) ... ?!

/B
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 09:40   #560
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Originally Posted by Paul Clapham View Post
I doubt that it's even onomatopoetic, because ...
Though, apparently there is also a Sundanese/Javanese word; Chĕurik, meaning: to cry, to weep, (here), but maybe it doesn't mean anything at all, if taken apart ... ?

Either way, in Hoogerswerf's paper, On the Ornithology of Rhino Sanctuary Udjung Kulon in West Java (Indonesia), from 1970, published in the Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 23, here (pp.473-475), we find three local Bee-eaters (incl.the ssp. quinticolor), with sound descriptions and all, though neither one is (in my ears) described as sounding similar to anything like "uric"/a ... (depending on the musicality of the listener, I suppose, which in my case is just about tone-deaf).

Could the Javanese ssp. (Horsfield's former "urica") possibly be interpreted as having a particular crying, weeping voice?

Just an(other) idea ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Clapham View Post
...
It would probably be more practical to find somebody who speaks Javanese and ask them.
True, Paul, that's an even better idea, but the tricky part would be finding such a person. Here on BirdForum they seem just about as rare as any Bee-eater ...

/B
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Last edited by Calalp : Thursday 25th June 2020 at 10:27. Reason: missed italic
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Old Monday 6th July 2020, 07:18   #561
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Merops urica

Here's another (my last) attempt on Horsfield's urica ...

If we follow the second reference of "Merops urica", in the link supplied by Mark (in #554), about "The Pirik Bee-eater" we find Swainson's "Zool. Ill. n. s.[!] t. 8", which takes us to Plate/Tabula 8 (here), and the text for "MEROPS urica. Javanese Bee-eater" (here), but it doesn't add much, no comment regarding the name itself (neither of urica, nor of 'Pirik'), only a somewhat resigned note:
Quote:
Most unwillingly I have again in this instance anticipated my friend Dr. Horsfeild [sic] in describing this bird, which he found in Java, and which I engraved after one sent from Ceylon, without knowing it had also fallen under his observation.
I wonder how Swainson would have put it if he had known about the even earlier "LE GUÉPIER QUANTICOLOR Merops Quinticolor", by Vieillot, from 1817, (OD here, all in French). In Vieillot's text about the same "M. Quinticolor", in Encyclopédie méthodique ... (from 1823) we find the word "uropygio", in the Latin description (on p.393), here. Similar to the "uropygioque" mentioned by Horsfield himself, in the OD of "Merops Urica" (of 1822, here).

Any connection to urica?

[It's somewhat in line with my speculations/guesses, way back, in december last , in post #383]

Well, that's it (on my part), I cannot reach any further, I've done my best in trying to figure it out (without, from what I can tell, any true success/explanation) ... a bit disappointing, but that's the name of the game. Some names will simply stay unexplained.

To anyone keener, still trying, still digging ... : Good luck!

Björn
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Old Sunday 13th September 2020, 08:44   #562
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The Lekwa (River) Owlet

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Jobling View Post
[...]
2. ... licua, ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mb1848 View Post
Quote:
licua as in "Strix Licua" 1842
A bird from Damara now Namibia. A long stretch but possibly named for ǁKhauxaǃnas, an uninhabited village with a ruined fortress dating to the 18th century, is located to the east of the mountains. Probably not it was collected near the confluence of the Vaal and Orange rivers.
Regarding licua, as in ...
• the Pearl-spotted Owlet ssp. Glaucidium perlatum licua LICHTENSTEIN 1842, as "Strix Licua" LICHTENSTEIN 1842 [link to OD, in post #383]

I think Desmond T. Cole, Professor Emeritus, former Head of the Department of African Languages, in/at the University of Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, actually (already, decades ago) have solved this one!

In his old Paper, from back in 1991 (somewhat sadly forgotten alt. long overlooked, or simply missed, at least in Ornithology): Old Tswana and New Latin, in Botswana Notes and Records 23, pp.175–191 (accessible at JSTORE, here) ... we find the following explanation (my bolds and blue):
Quote:
11. licua in Glaucidium perlatum licua (Lichtenstein), Pearlspotted Owl (Clancey, 1980: 105, misspelt as 'lica' in the subheading), collected near the confluence of the Vaal and Orange Rivers, from T. [Tswana] (and South Sotho) Lekwa LH 'Vaal River'.

[LH (Low/High) is only a guide for its pronunciation/tone]
Alt. in short (if I read it correctly): the (latinized?) licua origins from Lekwa, which simply is a Tswana (and South Sotho) name for the Vaal River!

---

In the same paper Professor Cole also deals with several other names, that might be of interest for us, or anyone else, interested in (African) etymologies. He, for example, link the name kori, as in the Kori Bustard Ardeotis kori (Burchell, 1822), to the Tswana name: kgôri.

He also deals with the [both generic and (sub-)species] name/s Taha and taha (as in "Taha taha, by Roberts 1940")*, as in today's Yellow-crowned Bishop ssp. Euplectes afer taha (a k a Taha Bishop/Weaver), to the Tswana name: thaga ... with the following comment:
Quote:
... a generic name for several species of weavers or granivorous birds, especially those whose males are brightly plumaged in summer. The original meaning of thaga was possibly simply 'bird', as in that of the cognate intaka in Xhosa.
And many, many more ...

All in all, Professor Cole lists more than 60 local names [!], all from Southern Africa, all of indigenous origin, all still present (in some shape or another) in various scientific names (on either Animals or Plants).

Another notable example is No. "54 chiniana" ... as in "Cisticola chiniana (A. Smith), Rattling Cisticola (Clancey, 1980: 215)", possibly from ... the Tswana name for the Tshwênyane (Hills) ... which I cannot help noticing is fairly similar to another still unexplained name in this "mission" thread; Andrew Smith's (Cisticola/Drymoica) cherina. Though apparently it's not close (in Geography) to Smith's 'Mirafra cheniana' Lark .... and onwards.

Could cherina maybe, possibly, be a typo, or a Printer's error (r versus n) ...?

I also note Cole's somewhat harsh comment on the alledged connection between Smith's 'Emberiza impetuani' and the word/name Mpa-thutlwa (apparently claimed by both Skead 1967, and Clinning 1989!?), which he finds ... "totally unacceptable".

It's a Paper, of 17 rich pages, well worth a (long and thorough) look!

Enjoy!

Björn

PS. Another (somewhat funny and) interesting part (Legend) in this Paper, is Cole's explanation of the name Damara (and as such also of Damaraland, and scientific names like damaranus and damarensis), which he claims as of Khoisan origin, Damara literally meaning "Two black women", formed by/from "dama- (black) and -ra (feminine dual); "giving rise to the misnomer 'Damara' for all the Black peoples of Namibia" (and onwards the colonial name of Damaraland, etc., etc.)

PPS. James, I´ve sent you a (scanned) personal copy of the full Paper.

Also note that neither (Andrew Smith's) codea, nor Marisca, was listed, neither explained not even mentioned, by Cole in this Paper. But, still, for the ones that still remain missing, coined by Andrew Smith I'm inclined to believe his own phrase: "The names given by the Natives to the objects above described, I have adopted as the trivial ones" (A. Smith 1836), i.e. in comparison/s to the names he used in his Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa (1838–1847). Just like on lagepa.

/B

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Last edited by Calalp : Sunday 13th September 2020 at 09:21.
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Old Sunday 13th September 2020, 09:11   #563
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Names as interpreted by Cole (and Smith) continuation ...

Also see Kees Rookmaaker's fairly recent Paper (from 2017); The zoological contributions of Andrew Smith (1797–1872) with an annotated bibliography and a numerical analysis of newly described animal species (here), published in Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 72 (2): 105–173, incl. "Table 11. New names proposed by Andrew Smith after persons" (on pp.150-151), and "Table 12. New names proposed by Andrew Smith based on words in the Tswana language, largely after Cole (1990, 1991)", on p.151.

Though, note that, for some unknown reason (doubt?), the name licua is not listed by Rookmaaker in Table 12, ... ?

Either way; enjoy.

/B

PS. James, I've already sent you Rookmaaker's Paper as well.
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Old Sunday 13th September 2020, 09:18   #564
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Björn,
Thanks for this. A photocopy of Cole's paper has been languishing in my library for some years, but I obviously skimmed through it and certainly missed licua! I haven't seen Rookmaaker 2017 and look forward to reading it. Back to the drawing-board.
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