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Blue-headed Quail Dove (1 Viewer)

Richard Klim

Olson & Wiley 2016. The Blue-headed Quail-Dove (Starnoenas cyanocephala): an Australasian dove marooned in Cuba. Wilson J Ornithol 128(1): 1–21. [abstract]
  • Starnoenadinae Bonaparte, 1855 - 'Blue-headed Partridge-Dove'
Baptista et al 2016 (HBW Alive).

Baptista et al 1997 (HBW 4)...
The monotypic Cuban Blue-headed Quail-dove (Starnoenas cyanocephala) possesses facial markings similar to those in Geotrygon. However, it has a black bib bordered by white, and it also differs from Geotrygon in possessing hexagonal scales on the front of its legs, and by laying white eggs. It may have a common ancestor with Geotrygon, or it may be representative of a different lineage of doves long extinct; biochemical data may throw some light on this mystery.
Dickinson & Remsen 2013 (H&M4 1)...

Formerly placed in its own subfamily because of distinct skeletal characters and tarsal scutellation, see e.g. Shufeldt (1891), but considered close to Geotrygon by Goodwin (1958). This taxon not yet included in DNA-based analyses.
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Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
The proposal of a new common name to my mind seems a little premature. Let us see what the DNA says first.

Cuba used to be in the pacific didn't it?

I believe I read something about the Caribbean plate coming through before the gap that is now Panama closed. BUT: I cannot remember where I read it. Is it documented somewhere?



Stop Brexit!
Surely they could've been a bit more inventive when it came to chosing a new English name? Why do they have to be so wedded to those absolutely ghastly hyphen-capitals??


Well-known member
A commenter/editor of a 1892 Ibis said We...may moreover add that unless we are much mistaken Dr. Shufeldt will find on examination of the old world Columbae that Starnoenas has some near relatives amongst them.
http://biodiversitylibrary.org/item/54799#page/209/mode/1up . He also did not use DNA. The cite to Starnoenadinae Bonaparte, 1855 is here;
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/26391#page/110/mode/1up . Bonaparte uses Starnoenides. Is this Latin?
Also Bonaparte says the Creoles call it Perdrix, or partrdge?
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/26391#page/112/mode/1up .
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laurent raty
The cite to Starnoenadinae Bonaparte, 1855 is here;
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/26391#page/110/mode/1up . Bonaparte uses Starnoenides. Is this Latin?
This is unquestionably French. And also clearly a slip...
In the later part of his life, Bonaparte used to form family-group names by adding a plural ending to the nominative (not genitive) of generic names, with or without the ending elided; the endings were -idæ (French -idés) for families, -inæ (French -iens) for subfamilies, -eæ (French -és) for "groups"/"series" ("groupe"/"série", a rank somewhat equivalent to our tribes; he did not use the term "tribe" [French "tribu"] at all; note that, to French workers of this time who did use this term, the rank of a "tribu" was above that of family--eg, Chenu & Oeillet des Murs [here]).
The taxon introduced on p.100 as "Starnœnidés", he called it the last "série" of his subfamily "Zénaïdiens": under his own rules, he should have used "Starnœnés", not "Starnœnidés".

In my reading, this name must be taken from p.220, where is stands (this time correctly) as "Starnœneæ": this is two weeks later.

(This name has definitely not "been generally accepted as valid by authors interested in the group concerned"; additionally, it is not "generally" possible to determine whether any earlier author who did cite it and attribute it to Bonaparte [which on its own will be something extremely rare] accepted it "as dating from that first publication in vernacular form", as the author and years would be the same; thus, of the three requirements of Art.11.7.2, one is clearly not fulfilled, and another cannot be objectively assessed. As a consequence, the name dates from its first appearance in a latinized form.)
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Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
I am not sure whether one should set much store by the fact that locals call Starnoenas "paloma perdiz" (quail-dove) since throughout the Neotropics all quail-doves tend to be referred to as "perdices" (although on Cuba they go by specific local names, like "Camao"). In fact, I am struggling to recall hearing the name "paloma codorniz" used anywhere for Geotrygon.


Well-known member
Thanks Chris Sharpe for your localized intelligence. In 19th Century in Jamaica G. montana was known as Mountain partridge and Blue partridge, and Starnoenas cyanocephala was known as Spanish Partridge, imported from Cuba. In Cuba Bobwhite were called codorniz in the past.

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
Hello mb1848, I noticed a confusing mistake in my message. I meant to say 'locals call Starnoenas "paloma perdiz" (partridge-dove)'. I think the English speaking countries use a set of unrelated names for birds, as you say - G. montana is "partridge dove" on Trinidad too. And "codorniz" is standard for bobwhites. Is Geotrygon called "codorniz" anywhere in Latin America?

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