Proposal (669) to South American Classification Committee

 

English names of the Blossomcrowns

 

Lozano-Jaramillo et al. (2014) presented evidence that the two widely disjunct populations of the species Anthocephala floriceps be treated as two distinct species, as had been done by all authors since the description of berlepschi until Peters (1945) lumped them giving no justification for so doing.  The SACC approved (re)splitting floriceps and berlepschi (Proposal no. 654), but some objections were raised regarding the suggested English names.  Blossomcrown remains as the group name, but the specific names suggested by Lozano-Jaramillo et al. were questioned. Anthocephala floriceps is endemic to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta whereas berlepschi is endemic to a small part of the Colombian Central Andes mostly included within the Department of Tolima.  The suggested names were "Sierra Nevada Blossomcrown" and "Andean Blossomcrown", respectively.  The objection to the former was that it is confusing, because there are other "Sierra Nevadas" - including the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy in Colombia - and Stotz suggested that "Santa Marta Blossomcrown" was more appropriate and in keeping with specific names of many other species endemic to that range.  My objection to "Andean Blossomcrown" is that it is too vague, implying a broad distribution in the Andes, which is certainly not the case; I suggested "Tolima Blossomcrown" to call attention to its extremely restricted distribution.  So the options are:

 

A. for floriceps- 1. Sierra Nevada Blossomcrown; 2. Santa Marta Blossomcrown

 

B. for berlepschi- 1. Andean Blossomcrown; 2. Tolima Blossomcrown.

 

I recommend a vote for 2 in each case.

 

 

(just as an aside, if we were describing the genus, I would have suggested "Pollencrown" rather than "Blossomcrown" - the pale forecrown does not give the impression of the birds' sporting a flower on their heads, but looks strikingly like the deposit of pollen present on their foreheads after having visited (and pollinated) a flower!  Ah well, too much fiddling would muddy the waters ...)

 

F. Gary Stiles, February 2014

 

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Comments from Jaramillo: “A. for floriceps- 2. Santa Marta Blossomcrown

B. for berlepschi- 2. Tolima Blossomcrown.”

 

Comments from Zimmer: “A) For floriceps, I would favor “Santa Marta Blossomcrown”.  B) For berlepschi, I would favor “Tolima Blossomcrown.”