Proposal (42) to South American Classification Committee

 

Change English name of Anabazenops dorsalis

 

Effect on South American CL: This proposal would change the English name of a species on our list from a "Ridgely-Tudor" name to newer "Ridgely-Greenfield" name.

 

Background: Meyer de Schauensee (1966, 1970) changed the English name of Anabazenops (then Automolus) dorsalis from Cory & Hellmayr's (1925) "Rufous-rumped Automolus" to "Crested Foliage-gleaner." This was followed by Hilty & Brown (1986) and Sibley & Monroe (1990). Ridgely & Tudor (1994) coined "Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner" for the species, with the following note:

 

"We do not know the derivation of the totally misleading English name Crested Foliage-gleaner, used in most recent literature. A. dorsalis never shows any semblance of a crest. Accurate and useful descriptive names are difficult to coin in a group as obscure and uniform as the Automolus foliage-gleaners; we opt to emphasize its rather prominent dusky cheeks."

 

Remsen (2003) followed Ridgely & Tudor (1994).

 

Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) coined a new name for Adorsalis: "Bamboo Foliage-gleaner," with a brief statement that "Dusky-cheeked" really wasn't satisfactory and that the species was characteristic of bamboo (but also Gynerium cane).

 

Analysis: Although, as you know by now, I favor name stability over improvement, this is one of those cases in which I have to agree with Ridgely & Tudor (1994). The crown feathers of dorsalis actually show less elongation that those of its former congeners in Automolus, so this must have been some sort of lapsus on the part of Meyer de Schauensee. "Crested" just had to go, in my opinion. "Dusky-cheeked" may not be a great name, but as Ridgely & Tudor noted above, distinctive names are tough to coin in this group of birds. It does have dusky cheeks, darker and more contrasting than those of sympatric Automolus foliage-gleaners as well (although not really any more dusky than congeneric but "very" allopatric A. fuscus). "Bamboo" may be "better" but not dramatically so -- it is a bamboo bird, but not limited to it, and not known to be any more so than congener Anabazenops fuscus, and also probably not much more so than sympatric Automolus melanopezus.

 

Recommendation: I will vote "NO" on this proposal (i.e., stick with our current "Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner") not because it's a great name but (1) because "Crested" is wrong and (2) because "Dusky-cheeked" has a slightly longer history than "Bamboo" and because "Bamboo" does not represent, in my opinion, a substantially large enough improvement to alter that history, short as it is.

 

Literature Cited:

 

CORY, C. B., AND C. E. HELLMAYR. 1925. Catalogue of birds of the Americas Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Publ., Zool. Ser., vol. 13, pt. 4.

HILTY, S. L., AND W. L. BROWN. 1986. A guide to the birds of Colombia. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

MEYER DE SCHAUENSEE, R. 1966. The species of birds of South America and their distribution. Livingston Publishing Co., Narberth, Pennsylvania.

MEYER DE SCHAUENSEE, R. 1970. A guide to the birds of South America. Livingston Publishing Co., Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.

REMSEN, J. V., JR. 2003 (in press). Family Furnariidae (ovenbirds). Pp. #-# in "Handbook of the Birds of the World," Vol. 8. Broadbills to Tapaculos (del Hoyo, J. et al., eds.). Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

RIDGELY , R. S., AND P. J. GREENFIELD. 2001. The birds of Ecuador. Vol. I. Status, distribution, and taxonomy. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.

RIDGELY, R. S., AND G. TUDOR. 1994. The birds of South America, vol. 2. Univ. Texas Press, Austin.

SIBLEY, C. G., AND B. L. MONROE, JR. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.

 

Van Remsen, July 2003

 

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Comments from Schulenberg: "My vote is "Yes", which I think means I'm voting in favor of "Bamboo" over "Dusky-cheeked". Actually, were we given a choice to vote on retaining "Crested Foliage-gleaner" (and I recognize that it is only my inertia that is preventing me from drafting a proposal to that effect), then I would vote to do so. "Crested Foliage-gleaner" is, admittedly, a rotten name, but that still does not mean that it "had to go". Talk about a slippery slope. In any event, the name "Crested" had 30+ years of history behind it, and it was a simple compound name ("xxx xxx-xxx") rather than a compound compound name ("xxx-xxx xxx-xxx"). Given a choice, I'd generally prefer the simpler name over the more complex one.

 

So, in the present case, I'd

 

a) be willing to retain "Crested" but, since for now that is not on the table, then

b) I'd vote for "Bamboo"

 

I know that Anabazenops dorsalis is not always found in bamboo, but then most "bamboo birds" aren't, including Bamboo Antshrike Cymbilaimus sanctaemariae. (And in my experience Anabazenops dorsalis *is* more restricted to bamboo than is Automolus melanopezus, for what little that may be worth.)

 

Comments from Zimmer: "I vote "yes" on changing the English name of A. dorsalis from "Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner" to "Bamboo Foliage-gleaner". I don't think "Dusky-cheeked" was around long enough to consider it truly established, and I think "Bamboo Foliage-gleaner" is a better, simpler name that highlights an important microhabitat of Amazonia. In my experience, it is more restricted to Guadua stands than is Automolus melanopezus, making it the most bamboo-oriented foliage-gleaner (excepting Simoxenops) within its range. I think the old name of "Crested Foliage-gleaner" is too clearly misleading to maintain (even though I still find myself calling this name out to clients!)."

 

Comments from Robbins: " I vote "yes" for accepting "Bamboo" over "Dusky-cheeked" as this is an improvement and I don't consider "history" as an issue in this case."

 

Comments from Stotz: "Yes to Bamboo Foliage-gleaner. Like Tom, I would be perfectly happy retaining Crested Foliage-gleaner. Years of it being called that didn't interfere with my ability to identify it. But since that doesn't seem to be on the table, I go with Bamboo Foliage-gleaner. It sounds better, and given that A. dorsalis is a widespread, common and characteristic bird of bamboo patches throughout southwestern Amazonia, is quite appropriate (despite not being completely restricted to bamboo)."

 

Comments from Jaramillo: "YES.  Go with Bamboo Foliage-Gleaner, history of Dusky-cheeked not that long, not entrenched. Preference for simpler over more complex names. I think its too late to go back to Crested Foliage-Gleaner though, that would confuse things even further at this point."

 

Comments from Nores: "(No), ambas especies viven mayormente en bamboo."