Proposal (691) to South American Classification Committee


NOTE: Bock & Schodde (2016; Wilson J. Ornithology) takes a different view, so let’s put this proposal on hold until that paper is incorporated into the proposal).



Change spelling of Pteroglossus beauharnaesii to Pteroglossus beauharnaisii



Effect on South American CL: This proposal would change the spelling of scientific name of the Curl-crested Aracari from Pteroglossus beauharnaesii to Pteroglossus beauharnaisii.


Background: The misspelled beauharnaesii as species name of Curl-crested Aracari is perpetuated in all of the important world and regional checklists and relevant monographs.


Pteroglossus beauharnaesii was described by Johann Georg Wagler in honor to Prince August Karl Eugen Napoleon Beauharnais (1810-1835), duke of Leuchtenberg. Prince Beauharnais was brother of Amélie August E. N. Beauharnais, princess of Leuchtenberg and empress of Brazil as wife of Dom Pedro I, founder of the Brazilian Empire.  In November 1829, Prince August escorted his sister Amélie to Brazil for her marriage to Dom Pedro I and, with a noticeable interest in natural sciences and ethnology, Prince August returned in 1830 to Eichstädt, Germany, with many Brazilian bird skins and ethnographic works, including a specimen of Curl-crested Aracari, which would be formally described by Wagler in the subsequent years (Stresemann 1948, Pacheco 2003).


Wright (2015) presented evidence that the Curl-crested Aracari was described by Wagler (1831), thus one year earlier than indicated in the sources (Wagler, 1832) and that in the earlier description, he twice spelled the bird’s species epithet “Beauharnaisii” (in agreement with the exact spelling of the Prince´s family). The currently accepted “beauharnaesii” is thus an incorrect subsequent spelling (see ICZN 1999).


Literature Cited:


ICZN. 1999. International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Fourth Edition. London: The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature.

Pacheco, J. F. 2003 A viuvez de Dom Pedro I e a descoberta do Araçari-mulato, Pteroglossus beauharnaesii. Atualidades Ornitológicas, 112, 3-4.

Stresemann, E. 1948. Der Naturforscher Friedrich Sellow (1831) und sein Beitrag zur Kenntnis Brasiliens. Zoologische Jahrbücher, 87, 401-425.

Wagler, J. 1831. Einiges über die von Sr. Durchlaucht dem Hrn. Herzoge August von Leuchtenberg aus Brasilien zurückgebrachte, in Eichstädt aufgestellte  Naturaliensammlung (Schluß). Ausland 4:458–459; 4:469–471

Wagler, J. 1832. Mittheilungen über einige merkwürdige Thiere von Wagler. Isis, 1832, Heft 3, 275-282.

Wright, R. 2015. The correct name of the Curl-crested Aracari (Pteroglossus beauharnaisii) and the date of Its publication. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 127:547-549


J F Pacheco, November 2015