The Key to Scientific Names

Edited by James A. Jobling
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L. albus white; scapus shaft, stem.


(Apodidae; syn. Rhaphidura Sabine's Spine-tail Swift R. sabini) L. alter, altera  another  < comp. alius  other; genus Apus Scopoli, 1777, swift; "The third, C. sabini, is blue-black above, the upper tail-coverts white and long, the tail long and square with short projecting spines; the under-surface has the throat dark, the abdomen light: the feet are stout for the size of the bird in this group.  It does not correlate with the preceding, as the tail is more than one-third the length of the wing.  I therefore propose the new name ALTERAPUS with type Alterapus sabini (Gray)." (Mathews 1918); "Alterapus Mathews, Bds. Australia, vii, p. 264, 1918.  Type by original designation, Chætura sabinei Gray." (W. Sclater, 1924, Syst. Av. Aethiop., I, p. 263) (see Neafrapus and Telacanthura).


● L. apus, apodis  swift, type of swallow said to have no feet  < Gr. απους apous, αποδος apodos  bird of the swallow kind  < negative prefix α- a- ; πους pous, ποδος podos  foot; "101. HIRUNDO.  ...  Apus.  5. H. nigricans, gula alba, digitis omnibus quatuor anticis.  Hirundo tota nigra, gula albicante. Fn. svec. 246.  Hirundo Apus. Bell. av. 100. a. Gesn. av. 166. Aldr. orn. l. 17. c. 10. Jonst. av. 119. t. 42. Will. orn. 156. t. 39. Raj. av. 72. n. 4. Alb. av. 2. p. 51. t. 55. Frisch. av. 3. t. 17. f. 1.  Habitat in Europæ altisIn terram decidens non evolat; capitur hamo Cicadæ inserto. Bell. 16." (Linnaeus 1758) (Apus).
● Gr. απους apous, αποδος apodos  bird of the swallow kind; ex “Becque Fleur” of Levaillant 1803, pl. 134 (syn. Anthoscopus minutus).


(Apodidae; Ϯ Common Swift A. apus) Specific name Hirundo apus Linnaeus, 1758; "APVS. BELLON. Alæ arcuatæ, ultra caudam sedentis extensæ. Nares ellipticæ, duplicatura in exteriore cantho instructæ. Mandibula utraque apice deflexa. Digiti quatuor, omnes anticis.  HIRVNDO Apus. LINN." (Scopoli 1777); “Three generic names have been used at various times for the Swifts. Apus Scopoli  ...  is preoccupied by Apos, introduced by the same author on p. 404 for a genus of Crustaceans. As these names are identical except for the interchange of “o” and “u,” the earlier one only is valid. The second is Micropus Meyer & Wolf [1810]  ...  This has been rejected by Sharpe (Hand-List, ii. 1900, p. 95), as the same name was applied to a genus of plants by Linnaeus, but under the present rules this no longer renders a name invalid for zoology, and Micropus should therefore be used. The third name, Cypselus Illiger, 1811, was used in the 1st edition of the List and by most of the earlier authors” (BOU 1915); "Apus Scopoli, Intr. Hist. Nat., 1777, p. 483. Type, by tautonymy, Hirundo apus Linné.1   ...   1 Not preoccupied by Apos Scopoli, 1777, Crustacea.  Replaces Cypselus Illiger, 1811, of Sharpe's Hand-list and Micropus Meyer and Wolf, 1810, of many recent authors." (Peters, 1940, IV, p. 244).   
Synon. Apodium, Brachypus, Brevipes, Caffrapus, Colletoptera, Cypselus, Drepanis, Epicypselus, Micropus, Tetragonopyga.


(Apodidae; syn. Apus White-rumped Swift A. caffer) Portmanteau of specific combination Apus caffer (Lichtenstein, 1823); "3.  Tail very deeply forked, for more than an inch: Caffrapus gen. nov., type Cypselus caffer Lcht." (A. Roberts 1922); "Caffrapus A. Roberts, 1922, Annals Transvaal Mus., VIII (4), p. 217.  Type, by original designation, Cypselus caffer Lichtenstein, 1823." (JAJ 2020) (see Tachymarptis).

Calapus (See: Calopus)

(syn. ?) Gr. καλοπους kalopous, καλοποδος kalopodos  with beautiful feet  < καλος kalos  beautiful; πους pous, ποδος podos  foot; "1. Sous-famille. DIPLAMPHA. Diplamphus. Bec non dentelé.  G. 1. Ramphanodus R.  2. Rincortus R.  3. Calopus R.   ...   ADDITIONS ET CORRECTIONS.  ...  pag. 66. l. 28. -- Calopus - lisez - Calapus." (Rafinesque 1815).
Var. Calapus.


(Phasianidae; Ϯ Blue Grouse D. obscurus) Gr. δενδρον dendron  tree; αγαπαω agapaō  to be fond of; "Tetronidæ  ...  For the next group, as its members appear to possess sufficient characters to distinguish the species from the commonly known T. Canadensis, in having gular sacks, the extraordinary number of twenty feathers in the tail, instead of sixteen, I would propose the term—  4th.   Dendragapus — confined to America; comprising D. obscurus and Richardsonii." (Elliot 1864); "Dendragapus Elliot, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1864, p. 23. Type, by subsequent designation, Tetrao obscurus Say. (Baird, Brewer and Ridgway, Hist. N. Am. Bds., Land Birds, 3, 1874, p. 415.)" (Peters, 1934, II, p. 28).
Var. Dendrogapus.
Synon. Palaeotetrix.


L. flavus yellow, golden-yellow; scapus trunk, shaft.

fulviscapa / fulviscapus

L. fulvus brown, tawny; scapus shaft, stem.


(Apodidae; Ϯ White-throated Needletail H. caudacutus nudipes) Portmanteau of genera Hirundo Linnaeus, 1758, swallow, and Apus Scopoli, 1777, swift; “CYPSELUS.  Chætura.   Species 1st. Nudipes, nobis.   ...  Remark. This singular species, by the structure of its feet, opens a passage from Hirundo to Cypselus.  Though variously allied to Pelasgia, Acuta, Caudacuta, and Gigantea, it exhibits, I believe, a distinct type of form—being certainly not a Chætura as defined by STEVENS, nor a Cypselus of ILLIGER; far less a swallow.  It climbs with great power aided equally by its talons and its tail.  Its habitat is the northern region, whence it sometimes wanders into the mountains of the central, avoiding however the open and level country.  I have set it down in my note book as the type of a new genus, called Hirund-apus.” (Hodgson 1837); "Hirund-apus Hodgson, Journ. As. Soc. Bengal, 5, 1836 (1837), p. 780.  Type, by original designation and monotypy, Cypselus (Chaetura) nudipes Hodgson." (Peters, 1940, IV, p. 232).
Var. Hirundinapus.
Synon. Pallene.


(Apodidae; syn. Zoonavena White-rumped Spine-tail Swift Z. sylvatica) L. Indicus  Indian  < India  India; genus Apus Scopoli, 1777, swift; "Two species of small Chætura are known from India, and these are remarkably distinct from each other as well as from other forms.  Oates proposed the genus Rhaphidura for one, and fearing criticism included the other.   ...   The type of his genus, Rhaphidura, was Acanthylis leucopygialis Blyth  ...  The other species associated with it was named Acanthylis sylvatica by Tickell, and is the smallest of the group: the wings are not so long as in the preceding, while the tail is long and rounded, with the projecting spines very short, and the feet minute.  The coloration is very different from that of the preceding, especially the under-surface.  I introduce for it the new name  INDICAPUS.  Type Indicapus sylvaticus (Tickell)." (Mathews 1918); "Indicapus Mathews, Bds. Austr., 7, 1918, p. 265.  Type, by original designation and monotypy, Acanthylis sylvatica Tickell." (Peters, 1940, IV, p. 236).


(Icteridae; syn. Cacicus Red-rumped Cacique C. haemorrhous) Güaraní name Japú very black (bird), for various oropendolas and caciques; based on “Yapu” of de Azara 1802-1805, no. 59 (cf. “Japu” or “Jupujuba” of Marcgrave 1648); "Japu, Japus  Cassicus oder Cacicus der mehresten Ornithologen, Yapus Azara's unterscheiden sich dadurch, daß ihr an der Wurzel etwas plattgedrückter Schnabel, mit einem hinten convexen Blättchen gegen die Stirn aufsteigt.   ...   C. J. Azarae Mihi.   ...   C. J. bursarius Mihi.   ...   C. J. oder Oriolus cristatus. Gehaubter Cassike. Xanthornus decumanus. Der junge Vogel Xanthornus virens.   ...   C. J? T? dispar. Ungleichfarbiger Cassike.   ...   C. J. dubius. Zweifelhafter Cassike. L'Yapu noir et jaune Azara.   ...   C. J. haemorrhous. Guasch oder rothsteitziger Cassike. Oriolus haemorrhous.   ...   C. J. heteroclitus. Weißköpfiger Cassike. O. leucocephalus, hudsonius, ludovicianus.   ...   C. J. luteus, persicus, Oriolus persicus, Jupujuba Cassike.   ...   C. J. Emberiza, Tanagra militaris. Rothbrüstiger Cassike. Oriolus, Icterus americanus, Xanthornus rubricollis ist das alte Männchen, Oriolus guianensis das junge Männchen oder das Weibchen.   ...   C. J. rubricapillus. Rothköpfiger Cassike. Le Troupiale noir à tête rouge Azara." (Merrem 1826); "Japus Merrem, 1826, in Ersch and Gruber, Allgemeine Encyclopädie, Sect. 1, XV, p. 275.  Type, by subsequent designation (G. Gray, 1855, Cat. Genera Subgenera Birds Brit. Mus., p. 68), Oriolus haemorrhous Linnaeus, 1766." (JAJ 2021).


V. A. Kapustin (fl. 1926) Russian collector in Lapland and Transbaykalia (syn. Lagopus lagopus, subsp. Parus major).


Gr. μεγα mega  much  < μεγας megas, μεγαλη megalē  great; πους pous, ποδος podos  foot.


(Apodidae; Cassin's Spine-tail Swift N. cassini) Gr. νεος neos  new; L. Afra  African; genus Apus Scopoli, 1777, swift; "The second, C. cassini, differs entirely in coloration, being black above with a smoky throat, white upper tail-coverts and abdomen white, the shafts of the feathers dark.  Structurally, it has very long wings with a very short tail with stiff short spines.  The tail is less than one-fifth the length of the wings.  No close relationship between this and the preceding group is apparent, and I here introduce for it the new name NEAFRAPUS which may, as above, be considered of generic value.   Type Neafrapus cassini (Sclater)." (Mathews 1918); "Neafrapus Mathews, Bds. Australia, vii, p. 264, 1918.  Type by original designation, Chætura cassini P. Scl." (W. Sclater, 1924, Syst. Av. Aethiop., I, p. 263) (see Alterapus and Telacanthura).
Synon. Notafrapus.


(Anatidae; Ϯ African Pygmy Goose N. auritus) Gr. νηττα nētta  duck; πους pous, ποδος podos  foot; the African Pygmy Goose was considered to have the feet and body of a duck, and the bill and neck of a goose; "D. Subgen. NETTAPUS NOB.  Rostri forma ut in Bernaclis, sed in mandibula, ut in Anseribus genuinis, exterior seu lateralis lamellarum series nulla. Collum elongatum. Pedes admodum breves. Tarsi digito medio propriae longitudinis tertia parte breviores. Unicam speciem huic inserendam huc usque sistit Anser madagascariensis seu Anas madagascariensis Auct., quae quidem rostro et collo Anserem, pedum structura autem et corpore Anatem praebet." (Brandt 1836); "Nettapus Brandt, Descr. Icon. Anim. Ross. Nov., Aves, fasc. 1, 1836, p. 5. Type, by monotypy, Anas masagascariensis Gmelin = Anas aurita Boddaert." (Peters, 1931, I, p. 172).
Var. Nettopus, Nettepus.
Synon. Anserella, Cheniscus, Microcygna, Nessarius.


(Apodidae; syn. Neafrapus Böhm's Spine-tail Swift N. boehmi sheppardi) Gr. νοτος notos  south; L. Afra  African; genus Apus Scopoli, 1777, swift; "As regards generic allocation of these birds, Mathews has diagnosed them on the difference in size, the colour of the tailcoverts and the proportion of the tail to the wing.  In Neafrapus the under tailcoverts are black, size large and the tail about one-fifth of the length of the wing and the outermost primary is as long as the second.  In the Beira and Machile River specimens the middle of the breast, abdomen and under tailcoverts white, size small and the outermost primary decidedly shorter than the second.  Having regard to these differences, I would place these southern birds in a new genus under the name of NOTAFRAPUS, type NOTAFRAPUS SHEPPARDI spec. nov." (A. Roberts 1922); "Notafrapus A. Roberts, 1922, Annals Transvaal Mus., VIII (4), p. 218.  Type, by original designation, Notafrapus sheppardi Roberts, 1922." (JAJ 2020).


Gr. παλαιος palaios  old, ancient; specific name Apus apus (Linnaeus, 1758) (subsp. Apus apus).


(Apodidae; syn. Mearnsia Papuan Spine-tail Swift M. novaeguineae) Compound of adj. toponym Papuan (i.e. of Papua or New Guinea) and genus Apus Scopoli, 1777, swift; "This leaves Chætura novæguineæ D'Albertis and Salvadori, from the Fly River, New Guinea, as representative of another genus, which is indicated by its description by Hartert as an extraordinary species.  In coloration it is nearest sylvatica, but is larger, with no white rump, the wing longer with the second primary longest, the tail short and slightly forked with minute needle-tips, the feet comparatively large and strong.  It is quite unlike any other group, and I therefore propose for it the new generic name PAPUANAPUS." (Mathews 1918); "Papuanapus Mathews, Birds Austr. vol. vii. p. 266, 1918.  Type (by original designation): Chætura novæguineæ d'A. & S." (Mathews, 1927, Syst. Av. Austral., I, p. 404).

Ptilonapus (See: PTILINOPUS)

(Columbidae; Ϯ Rose-crowned Fruit Dove P. regina) Gr. πτιλον ptilon  feather; πους pous, ποδος podos  foot; "Genus. PTILINOPUS. Mihi.  Generic Character.  Alæ mediocres, remigum pinna prima apicem versus contracta, tertia quartaque longissimis.  Rostrum gracile.  Tarsi plumosi.  ...  PTILINOPUS purpuratus. (Var. Regina.)  ...  Tarsi covered with soft and thick-set feathers down to the divisions of the claws; the soles are broad and flat." (Swainson 1825); "Ptilinopus Swainson, Zool. Journ., 1, 1825, p. 473. Type, by monotypy, Ptilinopus purpuratus var. regina Swainson." (Peters, 1937, III, p. 28).
Var. Ptilonapus, Ptilonopus, Ptilopus, Ptinilopus
Synon. Chlorotreron, Chrysoena, Chrysophaps, Chrysotreron, Curotreron, Cyanotreron, Eutreron, Haemataena, Jambotreron, Jotreron, Kranocera, Kurukuru, Kurutreron, Lamprotreron, Laryngogramma, Leucotreron, Mezotreron, Neoleucotreron, Oedirhinus, Omeotreron, Poecilotreron, Ptilopodiscus, Reginopus, Spilotreron, Sylphidaena, Sylphitreron, Terenotreron, Thoracotreron, Thouarsitreron, Thyliphaps, Xenotreron.

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