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Mr. Savatier and "his" waxbill (1 Viewer)

Björn Bergenholtz

... earlier a k a "Calalp"
Here´s some information on a little known collector (at least among ornithologists) and an even less known bird!

● in the higly invalid "Estrilda Savatieri" ROCHEBRUNE 1883
"Voisine de l'Estrilda quartinia C. Bp., cette espèce, que nous devons à notre excellent ami M. le Dr. Ludovic Savatier, …" *
= the fairly well-known naturalist (primarily botanist), explorer and collector (mostly of plants) Dr. (Surgeon and marine medical officer) Ludovic Savatier (1830–1891) whose full name was Paul Amédée Ludovic Savatier, "officier de la Légion d'honneur", "médecin en chef de la marine" etc. etc.

This Ludovic Savatier collected various Naturalia (molluscs, insects, birds etc. etc.) for Rochebrune (i.e. for Muséum national d'histoire naturelle) in "Senegambia", during a short term, in the early 1880's, shortly before his retirement. However he is far more famous for his two expeditions to Japan, 1866–1870 and 1873–1876 (where he mostly collected plants, many new to science) and for his third expedition to South America 1876/7–1879.

The same Ludovic Savatier is also commemorated in, for example the Mantis Paroxyophthalmus savatieri ROCHEBRUNE 1883… and in several other (both valid and invalid) scientific names on other animals. And plants.

Not to be confused (which has been done) with the French botanist Paul Alexandre Savatier (1824–1886) [a k a "Alexander Savatier", in English texts], co-worker of Rochebrune.

*OD unseen by me, however the same Rochebrune [i.e. Alphonse Tremeau de Rochebrune] wrote the multi-volumed work Fauna de la Sénégambie (1883-1885), and the quote above is from the second volume Oiseaux (Birds) where he once again presented this bird and Mr. Savatier … on pp. 335-336 (here and attached).

Well, that´s him!


PS. Since this eponym seem to have been fairly short-lived I guess it turned out to be closer to today's (Estrilda) Coccopygia quartinia BONAPARTE 1850 than Rochebrune wanted!? Take a look and judge for yourself. At the Plate of the bird in question (also attached). It’s the top bird, No. 1. According to p. 457 (here) it´s a male.


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    Rochebrune - p.335 .jpg
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  • Rochebrune - p.336 .jpg
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  • Rochebrune - Plate XXI.jpg
    Rochebrune - Plate XXI.jpg
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laurent raty
PS. Since this eponym seem to have been fairly short-lived I guess it turned out to be closer to today's (Estrilda) Coccopygia quartinia BONAPARTE 1850 than Rochebrune wanted!? Take a look and judge for yourself.
He says that his bird differs from Bonaparte's quartinia in that it has the chin, cheek and throat grey, which he describes as deep black in quartinia. Which is somewhat strange, as, in fact, quartinia never has these parts black...

(Bonaparte's description of quartinia [OD] reads:
*20. E. quartinia, Bp. Mus. Paris. ex Abyssinia.
Similis praecedenti; sed abdomine flavo.​
= *20 E. quartinia, Bp. Paris Museum. from Abyssinia.
Similar to the previous one; but belly yellow.

The 'praecedentem', he described as:
19. FRINGILLA dufresnii, Vieill. (melanotis, Temm. neisna, Licht. - Estrelda melanotis et dufresnii, Gr.)
Pl. col. 221. 1. ex Afr. m. et occ. Olivacea; pileo, cerviceque plumbeis: genis, mento, caudaque nigris: dorso postico et tectricibus alarum superioribus rubris: pectore albo-caerulante: abdomine albo vix rufescente.
= 19. FRINGILLA dufresnii, Vieillot. (melanotis, Temminck. neisna, Lichtenstein. - Estrelda melanotis and dufresnii, Gray.)
Pl. col. 221. 1. from southern and western Africa. Olivaceous; with lead grey cap and nape: with black cheeks, chin and tail: with red rear back and upper wing coverts: with bluish-white breast: with white, barely rufescent belly.

Did Bonaparte found quartinia similar to female dufresnii/melanotis, which he actually did not describe, the above bird being clearly a male...? A bird that would really fit the latter's description but with a yellow belly would probably have to come from Angola.)


PS - The OD appears not to have been published where Rochebrune claims it was in Faune de la Sénégambie.
("Estrilda Savatieri Rochbr., Bull. Soc. Phil., 2 août 1883.": this should be in Bulletin de la Société Philomathique, Séance du 2 août 1883: [here]. There he indeed introduced three new birds, but Estrilda Savatieri was not among them.)
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