• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Acrocephalus etymology (1 Viewer)

Björn Bergenholtz

... also known as "Calalp"
With Baron Nijō (or/alt. Nijô) done and settled, let's return to the original topic of this thread; the Generic name Acrocephalus itself ...

First of all, thanks Martin ("Taphrospilus"), for sending me the OD! 🏆

The SUB Göttinger Digitalisierungszentrum has the text and plates up to Nachtrag, zweites Hetf : https://gdz.sub.uni-goettingen.de/volumes/id/PPN614795702
(The plate volumes are those with a brown cover.)
Tabula XXXXVI (alt. XLVI) of the erster Band is: https://gdz.sub.uni-goettingen.de/id/PPN614796377?tify={"pages":[95],"view":"info"}

(For two species, A. stagnatilis, A. fluviatilis, a "Taf. 27" is cited in the OD, without a volume number, thus this was presumably a plate associated to the 4th part of the Nachtrag itself. This, I have not seen yet. From the description, I think stagnatilis is a River Warbler; fluviatilis is used here as a substitute for Latham's locustella, and should be a Grasshopper Warbler.)

Well, what can I say (even if I'm a bit late in my response), but; excellent job done, Laurent, well found & many thanks! 🏆

I actually did visit the Göttinger Digit-site earlier on, exactly the one you linked to, when I was trying to find the text/s, and the Plates, from/in this work (of 1811), but as I couldn't find any book dated later than "1805", I simply left it again (at that time I couldn't be bothered, didn't have time, or patience enough) ... once again we learn; persistency is (truly) rewarding.

However, I think we can leave the identity of the two Warblers* on that third, still unseen Plate ("Taf. 27"), simply as it's of minor concern for this topic itself; the true origin and identity, as well as the etymology, of the very first Acrocephalus ...

After now (finally) having seen the Work by the Naumanns (Father and Son) from 1811, all of the text and, at least two the Plates (Tabula XLVI and XLVII, which includes five, out of seven, asserted Acrocephalus Warblers, also the most important one, the very one of concern in this matter), I think we can all rest assured, that the Naumanns's großer Spitzkopf (1811); "... Taf. 46. Fig.103. Turdus arundinaceus. Lin." [... Tafel/Tabula/Plate 46, Figur/Figure 103. ...], was, and is, today's Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus (if of nothing else, simply by the sheer size of the depicted bird, in comparison to its much smaller, close relatives), and as such it certainly ought to be being the very Type species for Acrocephalus itself (as well as for all Acrocephalidae).

[Minor side-track, simply as I'm curious (even if a bit over the top), does anyone know the meaning of the OD's abbreviated " I. S. 224"? Is it; Illustration/Index, Seite (Page), or Species (No.) ... or?]

However, it sure makes one wonder why the Naumanns preferred the name "A. lacustris (mihi)", for the same species (the Great Reed Warbler) in 1811, why they didn't simply accept Linnaeus's name (or did they possibly doubt it?), and even more so why they didn't stick to either one of those names (neither the scientific one, nor the Common/Vernacular name), but instead, twelve years later, in their work of 1823 [Naturgeschichte der Vögel Deutschlands ... (link in PS., post #19)], they called the exact same species; "Sylvia turdoides DROSSELROHRSÄNGER"**. At that point (somewhat contradictory, or at least slightly confusing) using the name "Sylvia arundinacea TEICHROHRSÄNGER" for the much smaller, more frequent, species [today's (Common/Eurasian) Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus] ... !?

Either way, I think we can leave it all right here, as of right now. That question can remain, as yet another matter, for any (German) Ornithology -, or Taxonomy Historians to ponder over.

And regarding the Etymology I would say it's fairly clear, just like in James's Key MS (see post #13), it's in reference to its head (Kopf), as in from; "Gr. ακρος akros point" [though, I´m not so sure about how relevant the "crest" part is in this certain case (that is, in relevance to those certain birds, of course), regardless if ever so true in the very interpretation, and true meaning of the original Greek word itself] + "κεφαλος -kephalos -headed < κεφαλη kephalē head", and I would think it's all in reference to what the OD states about the Acrocephalus Warblers, and their shared feature (or simply looks alt. anatomy/morphology):

"Kopf: Mit gestreckter, flacher und schmaler Stirn, — so daß der Kopf von allen Seiten nach dem Schnabel zu sehr spitz zuläuft."
... which (helped by Google Translate) would mean something like:
"Head: With elongated, flat and narrow forehead, — which, from all sides makes the head clearly/very/much tapering (alt. narrow/narrowing in, or pointing, pointed) towards the beak/bill."]

Well, that's it. I'm done on this one (i.e. the generic name).

Acrocephalus ... (at least on my part) over and out!

Stay safe!

Björn
________________________________________________________________________________________________
*In their work of 1823, those two unseen "A. stagnatilis, A. fluviatilis" is depicted on "Taf. 83" [Tafel/Tabula/Plate 83]
(even if in reversed order, and there placed in Sylvia), here, with the other (of today's Acrocephalus) on the preceding Plates.


**The German name Drosselrohrsänger [Drossel (Trush) + rohr (reed) + sänger (singer/warbler)] was the very reason why
I myself, in the first place, reacted on (the identity of) this bird (and started to wonder about it, even if clearly all un-called for),
simply as its Swedish name is trastsångare [trast (Trush) + sångare (singer/warbler)], in line with its today dated scientific
name "turdoides" (trush-like).
 
Last edited:

l_raty

laurent raty
[Minor side-track, simply as I'm curious (even if a bit over the top), does anyone know the meaning of the OD's abbreviated " I. S. 224"? Is it; Illustration/Index, Seite (Page), or Species (No.) ... or?]
First volume (of present work), p. 224 : https://gdz.sub.uni-goettingen.de/id/PPN61479658X?tify={"pages":[254],"view":"info"} .

However, it sure makes one wonder why the Naumanns preferred the name "A. lacustris (mihi)", for the same species (the Great Reed Warbler) in 1811, why they didn't simply accept Linnaeus's name (or did they possibly doubt it?), and even more so why they didn't stick to either one of those names (neither the scientific one, nor the Common/Vernacular name), but instead, twelve years later, in their work of 1823 [Naturgeschichte der Vögel Deutschlands ... (link in PS., post #19)], they called the exact same species; "Sylvia turdoides DROSSELROHRSÄNGER"**. At that point (somewhat contradictory, or at least slightly confusing) using the name "Sylvia arundinacea TEICHROHRSÄNGER" for the much smaller, more frequent, species [today's (Common/Eurasian) Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus] ... !?
Two reed warblers were historically called "arundinaceus":
  • Turdus arundinaceus Linnaeus 1758 -- Linnaeus C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Laurentius Salvius, Stockholm.; p. 170; https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/727077.
  • Motacilla arundinacea Lightfoot 1785 -- Lightfoot J. 1785. An account of an English bird of the genus Motacilla, supposed to be hitherto unnoticed by British ornithologists. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, 75: 8-15.; p. 11; https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/23329500. (This name has often been attributed to Gmelin, but Gmelin (https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/2656487) cited Lightfoot as his source, hence merely used a name that was already available.)
The first name applies to the Great Reed Warbler, the second to the Reed Warbler. When these two names were placed in the same genus, they became secondary homonyms; currently we treat Linnaeus' name as valid, and use the junior synonym Turdus scirpaceus Hermann 1804 (https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/50170591) instead of Lightfoot's name. Naumann did the opposite: he renamed Linnaeus bird, and accepted Lightfoot's name -- which he attributed to Bechstein; Bechstein (https://books.google.com/books?id=R4kK6VKs4AkC&pg=PA174) attributed it to Latham; Latham (https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/53509898) took it from Lightfoot's paper and Gmelin.
 
Last edited:

Björn Bergenholtz

... also known as "Calalp"
[Minor side-track, simply as I'm curious (even if a bit over the top), does anyone know the meaning of the OD's abbreviated " I. S. 224"? Is it; Illustration/Index, Seite (Page), or Species (No.) ... or?]

Yet another; thanks Laurent!

I simply missed that (fairly easy) one. Sigh.

Stay safe

Björn

PS. Your explanation of 'Turdus arundinaceus' and/versus 'Motacilla arundinacea' equally appreciated.
 
Last edited:

mb1848

Well-known member
Lightfoot worked with daniel Solander for the Duchess of Portland. I love the drawing in the Lightfoot article. The details of the nest and the personality of the bird. The artist is WP.
https://pictures.royalsociety.org/image-rs-9778 .
I think it is artist William Parry who did a painting of Joseph Banks and Solander.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Parry_(artist) .
In an ALZ 1814 review of the 1811 supplement it appears the spuitzkopf is Taf. 26 Fig. 53.
Page 219 of https://www.google.com/books/editio...+Taf.+26+fig.+53&pg=PA219&printsec=frontcover .
The S/ fluviatilis drawing is not a recycle of the 1811 one as it is dated 1821.
https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/105293#page/169/mode/1up .
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top