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Eponymical challenges (1 Viewer)

James Jobling

Well-known member
Currently the following eponym(s) elude me, as I cannot access Ornithologische Monatsberichte on-line and do not plan to visit the library at Tring until next year. I assume gertrudis refers to a relative of Hermann Grote (1882-1951), but am otherwise in the dark. Can anyone lighten my darkness?

Hirundo griseopyga gertrudis Grote, 1924, Ornith. Monatsb., 32, p. 72.

Cinnyris chalybeus gertrudis Grote, 1926, Ornith. Monatsb., 34, p. 183.

Serinus mozambicus gertrudis Grote, 1934, Ornith. Monatsb., 42, p. 87.

With appreciation in advance for any help/suggestions ......
 

mb1848

Well-known member
Another kind of Eponymical challenge was just published at this blog:
http://birdaz.com/blog/2013/09/01/heres-to-you-mrs-robinson .
"Note that I have been able to find no evidence supporting Jobling’s identification of Alice Robinson as the eponym of another hummingbird, Aglaeactis aliciae. Stay tuned for more about that one."
I hope we all can help defend Mr. Jobling's honor. My guess is Alice Mary Chaplin Godman, Godman's second wife. But it is just a guess.
 

James Jobling

Well-known member
Thank you for pointing out the error in my Great Work. I probably misread Wynne, 1969, p. 5 (which refers to Saucerottia tobaci aliciae), and made an incorrect assumption. Certainly, Salvin 1896 provided no dedication for his Aglaeactis aliciae; but the lady concerned was doubtless a relative of Salvin or Baron or Godman or Rothschild, all of whom had connections with this hummingbird. Godman's second wife is a good guess. Any more offers?!
 

Rick Wright

Well-known member
Dear James, I called up a couple of volumes of the Orn.Monatsb. yesterday while I was waiting for something else, and have Grote's descriptions of the Cinnyris and the Hirundo. In neither does he tell us who his Gertrud was. When I get a moment I'll 'post' the full texts and translations here. (Volume 42 was out, unfortunately.)
 

Rick Wright

Well-known member
Grote, H. 1926. Cinnyris chalybeus gertrudis nov. subsp. Ornithologische Monatsberichte 34.6: 183.

Vom südafrikanischen Cinnyris ch. chalybeus (L.) durch geringere Masse und kürzeren Schnabel unterschieden. [1] Typus im Zoolog. Museum Berlin: m., Songea (südwestliches Deutsch-Ostafrika), Stierling leg. Nr. 139. Flügellänge 53 mm, Culmen etwa 17 mm. Von diesem sehr kleinen Blütensauger liegt leider nur das erwähnte Exemplar vor. Zoogeographische Erwägungen veranlassen mich, trotzdem die Abtrennung vorzunehmen. Denn offenbar ist es unmöglich, einen räumlichen Zusammenhang zwischen dem Verbreitungsgebiet des oben beschriebenen Vogels und dem der Nominatform in Südafrika herauszukonstruieren, da zwischen beiden die Verbreitungsgebiete sehr ähnlicher, wohl sicher demselben Formenkreise angehörender, aber etwas abweichend gefärbter Formen liegen. Es scheint mir übrigens noch ganz ungeklärt zu sein, wie die systematische Stellung von Cinnyris chalybeus [und mediocris!] und Cinnyris afer zu einander ist. [2] Man darf wohl annehmen, dass sich diese Vögel genealogisch nahe stehen, aber dass sie zu einem einzigen Formenkreise gehören, ist nach den Literaturangaben über ihre geographische Verbreitung doch kaum anzunehmen. Jedoch bedarf diese Frage noch sorgfaltige Untersuchung.

[1] Mr. W.L. Sclater schulde ich grossen Dank für seine Liebenswürdigkeit, den ihm übersandten Typus mit dem reichen Material des Britischen Museums an südafrikanischen chalybeus zu vergleichen; er fand letztere 'rather larger' (in litt.).

[2] Verschiedene hierher gehörige Rassen scheinen ein räumlich sehr stark begrenztes Verbreitungsgebiet zu haben.

Distinguished from the south African Cinnyris chalybeus chalybeus (L.) by its smaller size and shorter bill. [1] Type in the Zoological Museum, Berlin. Male, Songea (southwestern German East Africa), coll. Stierling Nr. 139. Wing length 53 mm, culmen approximately 17 mm. Unfortunately, only the specimen described here is available of this very small sunbird. Zoogeographical considerations lead me to separate it nonetheless. For it is apparently impossible to figure out any spatial connection between the geographic distribution of the bird described above and that of the nominate population in south Africa, as the two ranges are separated by the distributions of very similar forms that probably belong to the same formenkreis but are somewhat different in color. It also seems to me uncertain what the systematic relationship is between Cinnyris chalybeus [and mediocris!] and Cinnyris afer. [2] One can probably assume that these birds are genealogically closely related; but given the information in the literature about their geographic distributions, it is hardly to be assumed that they belong to a single formenkreis. This question, however, still requires careful investigation.

[1] I am extremely grateful to Mr. W.L. Sclater for his kindness in comparing the type sent to him with the rich specimen material of south African chalybeus in the British Museum. He found the latter "rather larger" (in litt.).

[2] Various races also belonging here appear to have a very limited geographic range,
 

Rick Wright

Well-known member
Grote, H. 1924. Hirundo griseopyga gertrudis n. subsp. Ornithologische Monatsberichte 32.3: 72.

Zwergform: Flügellänge von vier adulten und einem semiad. Vogel (alle vom Benüe) 88-93 (88 - 88 - 88.5 - 91 - 93) mm gegen 96-101 mm bei der Nominatform (Exemplare aus Ostafrika). Typus im Zoolog. Museum Berlin. f. ad., Benüe bei Garua (Adamaua), 31.VII.1909, Riggenbach leg. Nr. 980. Auge "blau," Schnabel "schwarz," Füsee "schwarzbraun." Als Synonyme zur Nominatform sind nach Reichenow (Vög.Afr. II, p. 403) anzusehen: "Atticora melbina Verr." [Gabun], "Atticora cypseloides Heugl." [Abessinien] und "Hirundo poucheti Petit" [Kongo]. Mir liegt aus den gennanten Gegenden kein Stuck vor, aber Mr. Norman Kinnear (London) hatte die Freundlichkeit, auf meine Bitte hin das diesbezügliche Material des British Museum durchzusehen. Er fand folgende Flügelmasse: Exmpl. von Gabun (Duchaillu leg.): 100 mm, Expl. von Mayumba (Kongo): 99 mm, Expl. von Guatti (Abessinien): 96 mm. Es handelt sich demnach durchweg um langflügelige Vögel, deren Flügellängen in die Flügelvariationsbreite der Nominatform fallen.

Very small form: wing length of four adult and one subadult bird (all from Benue) 88-93 (88 - 88 - 88.5 - 91 - 93) mm, as opposed to 96-101 mm in the nominate form (specimens from east Africa). Type in the Zoological Museum, Berlin: adult female, Benue, near Garua (Adamaua), July 31, 1909, coll. Riggenbach Nr. 980. Eye "blue," bill "black," feet "blackish brown." According to Reichenow (Vög.Afr. II, p. 403), the following should be considered synonyms of the nominate form: "Atticora melbina Verr." [Gabon], "Atticora cypseloides Heugl." [Abyssinia] and "Hirundo poucheti Petit" [Congo]. No specimen from those areas is available to me, but Mr. Norman Kinnear (London) was so kind as to review the relevant specimen material of the British Museum on my request. He found the following wing measurements: specimen from Gabon (coll. Duchaillu): 100 mm, specimen from Mayumba (Congo): 99 mm, specimen from Guatti (Abyssinia): 96 mm. Thus these are all decidedly long-winged birds, and their wing lengths fall into the range of variation exhibited by the nominate form.
 

James Jobling

Well-known member
Dear Rick,
You are a scholar and a gentleman. Thank you for sharing the Ornith. Monatsb., which is very much appreciated. Like many authors Grote blithely assumed that everybody knew who he was commemorating. The fact that he used the eponym thrice means that it was someone important in his life, doubtless a close relative. I shall try to find out more about his personal life.
James
 

JustinJansen

Well-known member
Dear Rick,
You are a scholar and a gentleman. Thank you for sharing the Ornith. Monatsb., which is very much appreciated. Like many authors Grote blithely assumed that everybody knew who he was commemorating. The fact that he used the eponym thrice means that it was someone important in his life, doubtless a close relative. I shall try to find out more about his personal life.
James
More information according to Gebhardt is in Auk 69: 224-225 (1952). Grote worked in East-Africa 1908, but no family details.
 

Björn Bergenholtz

... also known as "Calalp"
Grote's Obituary ...

Obituary (1952) in The Auk 69: pp. 224-225. (attached)

If anyone ever will have another look on Grote's type descriptions it could be worth taking a look at the Introduction of each article. I´ve found that the names of persons commemorated in different species, further down in various articles, quite often is mentioned in those first lines/pages. Just a thought.
 

Attachments

  • Obituary, Grote. 1952. The Auk 69 pp.223-226 .pdf
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Björn Bergenholtz

... also known as "Calalp"
Yes, Björn, it's standard practice to read _all_ of an item when searching for such things.

Dear Rick,

I hope you understand that my little hint wasn´t addressed to you personally ... I have rarely seen anyone more meticulous, more accurate and more generously sharing than you, and in your specific case I took the "know-how" for granted!

As well as other experienced authors on this thread!

It was just a hint aimed at any pure "beginners" or "greenhorns" in this matter. I have found that they sometimes seem to stare themself blind on that certain page where the type description is meant to be. Especially if they were about to take a look at that "Ornith. Monatsb., 42, p. 87" that "was out"!

Cheers!
 

Rick Wright

Well-known member
Orn.Monatsb. 42.3 (1934)

Grote, Hermann. 1934. Zwei neue Formen aus Deutsch-Ostafrika. Ornithologische Monatsberichte 42.3: 86-88.

[transl.; footnotes omitted]

.... II. Serinus mozambicus gertrudis subsp. nova. The most recent comprehensive overview of the greatly varied formenkreis Serinus mozambicus in W.L. Sclater's "Systema avium Aethiopicarum" II, pp. 813-814, indicates the range of the nominate form, described from South Africa, as "north to the coastal districts of Kenya Colony, south to Natal and eastern Cape Province." But V.G.L. van Someren had previously pointed out that specimens from the Kenya coast "are not S. icterus of Mozambique or South Africa" and that "they are certainly not the same as S. mosambicus mosambicus." The rich comparative material available to me in the Berlin Zoological Museum proves that Dr. van Someren's view is absolutely correct: The birds of the Suaheli coast across from Zanzibar are smaller than, for example, Nyassa birds; namely, the wing length is 62 to 65 mm, as opposed to (66) 67 to 72 mm. (According to Count N. Gyldenstolpe, south African specimens can be as long as 74 mm.) Thus it is necessary to separate the birds of the coasts of British and German East Africa from the consistently larger nominate form.
Type of S.m. gertrudis (in the Berlin Zoological Museum): "male," Usambaara, July 24, 1911, coll. Hofmann (No. 256).
In central German East Africa (Morogoro among other localities), the coastal race gradually blends into the nominate form; here, specimens occur with wing length of 65 to 67 mm.
The names madaraszi and songeae, created by Reichenow in 1902 and 1918, respectively, refer to long-winged birds from the German areas of Nyassa and Rowuma.

Sorry for the negative data about Grote's Gertrud. Let me know if you want the German text.
 

James Jobling

Well-known member
Rick, Many thanks for all your hard work in translating German texts (I generally have no problem with the Latin languages, but could never get a feel for German - and as for fraktur!!!). Since Grote was unmarried we must assume that the gertrudis refer to his mother, a sister, or a mistress. Doubtless, we shall never know.
 

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