The Key to Scientific Names
(Anatidae; Ϯ King Eider S. spectabilis) Gr. σωμα sōma, σωματος sōmatos body; εριον erion wool. The down used to line the nests of the Common Eider was formerly collected commercially; "Genus SOMATERIA, Leach, (Eider). Species 1. SOMATERIA SPECTABILIS, (King Eider). A pair only of this species was shot, in about lat. 72º. Several were seen as high as 74º, mixing with Cuthbert's Eider. It is generally named King Duck. The trachea of this bird resembles that of the Anus [sic] Moschata. See Plate 14, fig. 1 and 2. Latham. Species 2. SOMATERIA, (Cuthbert's Eider), commonly named the Eider Duck. Many of these were shot in the months of June and July, between lat. 71º and 74º." (Leach 1819); "Somateria Leach, in Ross, Voy. Disc. 2, 1819, p. 154, App., p. xlviii. Type, by monotypy, Anas spectabilis Linné.1 ... 1 Of the two included species, one is listed only in the vernacular, the other has a valid binomial name and may be accepted as a monotypic type." (Peters, 1931, I, p. 179).
Var. Sommateria, Samoteria.
Synon. Arctonetta, Eider, Erionetta, Ganza, Lampronetta, Platypus.