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AOU 51st supplement (1 Viewer)

Kirk Roth

Well-known member
Peucaea = "Pyoo-say-uh"

Patagioenas = "Pat-uh-gee-oy-nus"

Here is my favorite cheatsheet to latin pronunciation -
http://www.ai.uga.edu/mc/latinpro.pdf

The last page has a nifty chart. Northern Continental style is (supposed to be!) the one used in biology.

Note that the chart is only so helpful, as scientific names do not specify long or short vowels. For example, with Patagioenas, one must know that pigeons have a large patagium ("Pat-ay-gee-um" in original Latin!) and/or that there is no such Latin word "Pat-uh-guy-um"



Peter - Great minds think alike.
 
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Richard Klim

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Peucaea

Peucaea = "Pyoo-say-uh"
Here is my favorite cheatsheet to latin pronunciation -
http://www.ai.uga.edu/mc/latinpro.pdf
The last page has a nifty chart. Northern Continental style is (supposed to be!) the one used in biology.
I'm probably in a distinct minority in the English-speaking world, but I still prefer classical Latin (hard C/G etc), as advocated for pronunciation of scientific names by A.G. Blunt recently in British Birds. Perhaps it's just the fond but distant memories of Latin classes at school (mostly long forgotten), or a reaction against strangulated Anglicised Latin where, eg, vowel and dipthong sounds seem to be randomly transposed from those used in Latin-based languages, limiting the use of scientific names as a basis for common communication.

But at least in the case of Peucaea, the derivation from Greek peuke (Jobling 2010) is surely further reason to use a hard C.

Richard
 
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Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
But at least in the case of Peucaea, the derivation from Greek peuke (Jobling 2010) is surely further reason to use a hard C.

Richard
Which the English would then pretty much pronounce as "Puke here" (so I'd choose "Pyusia")!

(as a Dutchman, I'd say P[UI]saya (although I know the K is better!), with the Dutch [ui] that no-one can pronounce (but it's remarkably close to the one in the London tube station of Ruislip)).
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I have not read the text linked above, but remember reading that the Romans at the time of Julius Caesar did not ever pronounce "C" softly: he was Julius Kaesar. As Richard states above, the same for "G" (as in give).

However, has this thread not gone far enough out on this tangent? Any more comments about the taxonomy in the 51st supplement? ;)

Cheers
Niels
 

Jim Mountjoy

Active member
how conservative is the AOU checklist?

It seems to me that the NACC is really quite conservative, and sometimes I appreciate that. I happen to agree that such species level splits as the Herring Gulls are not sufficiently supported to accept at this time. However, their higher level taxonomy seems to be lagging behind current knowledge so much that it could be seen as quite misleading as regards what we know about the evolutionary history of birds.

Case in point is the decision to separate the falcons and the 'other raptors' into distinct orders, but then leave them side-by-side in checklist sequence. The proposal for this relies heavily on genetic studies by Ericson et al. (2006) and Hackett et al. (2008) that are in agreement that the falcons belong in a larger group with the Passeriformes, Psittaciformes & Cariamidae (which should be in the Cariamiformes, of course). So why, if they accept these studies as evidence to split the orders, have they not placed these groups (including the parrots) in the appropriate sequence in the checklist? Are they really not convinced, or are they just trying to avoid upsetting people who are comfortable with the old (albeit incorrect) sequence?
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
SACC already has split out the Cariamidae as it's own order (They don't occur in AOU area so AOU of course hasn't/won't make a decision regarding them).

I think they decided to split the falconiformes the way they are split because it's a pretty safe bet that they are not embedded within the rest of the birds of prey, and are probably a fairly old divergence. I don't think (and I agree with AOU on this) that their position within birds is nailed down enough to warrant moving at this time.
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
I've just reorganised my own list completely to reflect those order changes (although I smuggled a bit to keep e.g. Turacos, Cuckoos and Hoatzin together, which I think is warranted by lack of support).
In a similar vein, it's possible to keep the falcons with the other raptors.
In fact (in case you have Hackett's tree in front of you): with some clever switching of the position of the Accipitriformes and the Coraciiformes/Piciformes/Coliiformes/Strigiformes branch, all raptors (owls, hawks, condors, seriemas and falcons) come in linear order!
 

AlexC

Aves en Los Ángeles
Opus Editor
Supporter
Would anyone with access to the BioOne article like to PM me so I can give you my e-mail to receive it? I'd really appreciate it.
 

gusasp

Well-known member
The order of things

The current position of the Fringillidae, directly following the 'nine-primaried' passerines, is compatible with a sister group relationship (if that is correct), again assuming that the AOU is not following a rule of larger taxon last for the order of sister groups.

True, but if only Fringillidae was dead last? Passeridae and Ploceidae are there to, and they're involved in a grade. According to TOL they're in the wrong place:
http://www.tolweb.org/Passeroidea/67278

which makes the "proper" order something like:

Olive Warbler, Accentors, Ploceidae, Passeridae, Motacillidae, Fringillidae, Calcariidae, the rest.

A bigger issue is why the accentors and wagtails/pipits are still sandwiched between Sturnidae and Bombycillidae when I think it is clear that they belong somewhere among the Fringillidae/Passeridae/nine-primaried passerines (the Passerida). Perhaps they are waiting for a 'definitive' answer as to where exactly they fit, or perhaps it is simply ' so many proposals, so little time'.

Or 'oops, didn't think of that'? To me, that points to a problem with the method of proposals (generally a much better method than, say, the Swedish way where a committee once every three-four years publishes changes coming from the blue no one has had an insight into). What if changes in the arrangement coming from one proposal also has an effect on other families, but there is no proposal to rearrange them as well, do you have to wait another year? I mean, the material is right there. The studies that reveal the relationships of the old Sylviidae also show where some other families go.

I have a few other arrangement-worries. Not seeing the full new checklist, for me it's a guessing game when reading the supplement.

* Where does the whole wren+gnatcatcher clade go? If in it's current position (before the former Sylviidae), then it's most certainly dead wrong. Isn't that clade (including the creepers and nuthatches) sister to the thrushes (+mimids and starlings)?

* If the dippers stay in the same place, they're too way off – also belonging to the thrushes.

* Where does Paridae+Remizidae go after the Sylvid break-up? Hopefully in front (right after the monarchs), as it seems to be basal there
seem to Where does the whole Wren+Gnatcatcher complex go in the list?
 

jmorlan

Hmmm. That's funny
Opus Editor
United States
I have a few other arrangement-worries. Not seeing the full new checklist, for me it's a guessing game when reading the supplement.
My understanding is that there are no changes in list sequence other than what's specifically published in the supplement. At least that's the assumption I've been going on in attempting to update the California list. See also Andy Kratter's earlier post.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
FYI my own life list (which uses a family/order classification of my own choosing) follows the Hackett tree in arrangements. I can understand why an official checklist should be somewhat hesitant though, since many field guides use these lists for formatting, and if you are going to do a major change like moving falcons near songbirds and away from hawks, you better make sure you do it right the first time
 

jmorlan

Hmmm. That's funny
Opus Editor
United States
AOU policy on English names

Here is the AOU's written policy on English names from page xiii of the 7th edition.

When a species was divided into two or more distinct species, we have used former English names, if available, for the resultant taxa. In general, we have followed the policy that no English name should be used for both a combined species and one of the components (Groups). However, we often have retained a well-known English name for a widespread North American form when a taxon that is either extralimital or restricted in distribution is separated from it. An example is the retention of the name Red-winged Blackbird for Agelaius phoeniceus when the Cuban population was separated as A. assimilis and named the Red-shouldered Blackbird.
Perhaps I don't understand, but it sounds to me like the Pacific Wren is comparable to the Red-shouldered Blackbird in distribution, allowing retention of "Winter Wren" for the widespread North American population.

Trying to avoid another Mel Gibson lapse here, but it's not easy.
 
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Richard Klim

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Winter Wren

Here is the AOU's written policy on English names from page xiii of the 7th edition.
...An example is the retention of the name Red-winged Blackbird for Agelaius phoeniceus when the Cuban population was separated as A. assimilis and named the Red-shouldered Blackbird.

The blackbird case is an example of the splitting off a restricted-range form extralimital to North America, and retaining the original species name for the widespread North American parent species. No problem.

In the case of the wren, the local North American forms have been split from a widespread Holarctic species, but AOU has unilaterally reassigned the English name of the parent species to one of the new local species, creating scope for confusion. Outside the AOU area, 'Winter Wren' still refers to T troglodytes.

Richard
 
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Snapdragyn

Well-known member
Following on what Richard said, is the range of Pacific Wren really suitable for description as 'restricted' anyway? If it were found only in California, perhaps (& better still if only found in one area of the state, such as with the Island Scrub-Jay or California Gnatcatcher), but for a species found breeding from Alaska to central California & into the northern mountain states I think that's pushing it.
 

Richard Klim

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Naming policies

In the case of the wren, the local North American forms have been split from a widespread Holarctic species, but AOU has unilaterally reassigned the English name of the parent species to one of the new local species, creating scope for confusion. In Eurasia, Winter Wren still means T troglodytes.
But maybe it's fair payback for Greater Flamingo. When AERC/BOURC split Phoenicopteres roseus from P ruber, they pre-emptively 'stole' the original species name for the new Palearctic species, requiring the American parent species to be assigned a new name.

Richard ;)
 
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