Proposal (#333) to South American Classification Committee

Use of Pyrilia over Gypospsitta

On the basis of mtDNA sequence data, Ribas et al. (2005) removed several species of South and Middle American parrots from the genus Pionopsitta Bonaparte, 1854 and placed them in the genus Gypopsitta Bonaparte,1856 (type species Psittacus vulturinus Kuhl, 1820). Among the species moved to Gypopsitta was pyrilia Bonaparte (originally Psittacula pyrilia Bonaparte, 1853), which is the type species of the genus Pyrilia Bonaparte, 1856. Both Gypopsitta and Pyrilia have been recognized by various authors in the past 150 years, but generally both have been submerged in Pionopsitta. Ribas et al. (2005) were the first to place the two type species in the same genus for which one of the names must be used. Citations for the generic names Pyrilia and Gypopsitta by Salvadori (1891), Ridgway (1916), Cory (1918), and Peters (1937) suggest that they were published simultaneously, in which case action of a first reviser (I.C.Z.N. 1999, Article 24.2) would be necessary to chose which should be used, an action not taken by Ribas et al. (2005). They stated: "The name Gypopsitta is equally as old as other available names, and because it has previously been used for a species in this clade [vulturina], it maintains a semblance of nomenclatural stability."

However, a card in the C. W. Richmond card files of generic and specific names of birds, housed in the Division of Birds at the U.S. National Museum, gives a different citation for the name Pyrilia Bonaparte, 1856: "Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci. [Paris], tome 42, No. 20, [not earlier than May 19] 1856, p. 956, footnote." This paper by Bonaparte is a discussion of several species of "gallinaceous" birds (francolins and tinamous), including the naming of Nothocercus sallæi. In a footnote dedicating this species to the collector Auguste Sallé, Bonaparte goes on to discuss various specimens in a collection sent by Sallé and, apparently, other material that happened to be at hand. This footnote, which occupies most of the last three pages of the paper, includes the statement: "Faisons observer, apropos de cette espèce du Mexique et de Venezuela à la fois, qu'une autre bien plus brillante, notre pyrilia, forme maintenant avec l'amazonina, O. des Murs, notre genre Pyrilia; et que cette Pyrilia typica, Bp., n'a rien de commun avec Psittacus euops Wagl." This constitutes the naming of a genus Pyrilia (I.C.Z.N. 1999, Art. 12.2.5).

The name Pyrilia, published in May, has priority over Gypopsitta, published in August (Whitsell 1945) and must be used when the two type species are placed in the same genus (except for one named even earlier, such as Pionopsitta). I plan to place the following paragraph in the 49th Supplement to the AOU Check-list of North American Birds, to be published in July 2008:

"On the basis of mtDNA sequence data, Ribas et al. (2005) removed several species of South and Middle American parrots from the genus Pionopsitta Bonaparte, 1854 and placed them in the genus Gypopsitta Bonaparte,1856 (type species Psittacus vulturinus Kuhl, 1820). Among these species was P. pyrilia Bonaparte, which is the type species of the genus Pyrilia Bonaparte, 1856. Most citations for these generic names (e.g. Cory 1918, Peters 1937) indicate that they originate from the same paper, but Pyrilia was named earlier in 1856 in a different paper and must be used when the two type species are placed in the same genus."

I recommend that the SACC also use Pyrilia rather than Gypopsitta for the species removed from Pionopsitta by Ribas et al. The generic heading is:

Genus Pyrilia Bonaparte
Pyrilia Bonaparte, 1856 (not earlier than 19 May), Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci. Paris 42:956. Type, by original designation and tautonomy, Psittacula pyrilia Bonaparte.
Gypopsitta Bonaparte, 1856 (August), Naumannia, Beilage no. 1, Consp. Psitt., genus 25. Type, by monotypy, Psittacus vulturinus Wagler = Psittacus vulturinus Kuhl.

 

Literature Cited

BONAPARTE, C.-L. 1856. Tabellarische Uebersicht der Papagaien. Conspectus Psittacorum. Beilage 1. Naumannia, 1856. [8 unnumbered pages between 382 and 383].

BONAPARTE, le Prince Ch. 1856. Note sur les Tableaux des Gallinacés. Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci. Paris 42:953-957.

CORY, C. B. 1918. Catalogue of birds of the Americas. Field Museum of Natural History Publications, Zoological Series, vol. 13, part. 2, no. 1.

INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION on ZOOLOGICAL NOMENCLATURE. 1999. International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Fourth ed. International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. London.

PETERS, J. L. 1937. Check-list of birds of the world. Vol. 3. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

RIBAS, C. C., R. GABAN-LIMA, C. Y. MIYAKI, AND J. CRACRAFT. 2005. Historical biogeography and diversification within the Neotropical parrot genus Pionopsitta (Aves: Psittacidae). Journal Biogeography 32:1409-1427.

RIDGWAY, R. 1901. The birds of North and Middle America. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, no. 50, pt. 7.

SALVADORI, T. 1891. Catalogue of the Psittaci, or parrots, in the collection of the British Museum. British Museum (Natural History). London.

WHITELL, H. M. 1954. The literature of Australian birds. Paterson Brokensha Pty., Ltd. Perth, Australia.

Richard C. Banks, February 2008


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Comments from Zimmer: "YES. On the basis of priority, there seems to be little choice but to use Pyrilia."

Comments from Stiles: "YES - with the question of priority finally settled, there seems to be a clear mandate for use of Pyrilia."

Comments from Nores: "YES. Banks ha documentado bien la prioridad de Pyrilia sobre Gypospsitta, cosa no hecha por Ribas et al. en su artículo, en el cual claramente se demuestra que Pionopsitta pileata no está relacionada con el resto de las especies que estaban en el género."

Comments from Jaramillo: "YES - This seems a straight forward issue of priority. Fortunately we did not give Gypopsitta time to take hold."