Proposal (702) to South American Classification Committee

 

Change hyphenated group-names within the genera Pseudotriccus, Euscarthmus, Myiornis, Lophotriccus, Oncostoma, Atalotriccus, and Hemitriccus

 

Effect on South American CL:  SACC rules governing the use of hyphenated group-names requires that we adopt at least some of the proposed changes.  Depending on how many of the sub-proposals we ultimately end up adopting, passage of parts of this proposal would change or eliminate the hyphenated group-names for a maximum of 38 species of small flycatchers on our list.

 

Background:  The English hyphenated group-name “Pygmy-Tyrant” is currently applied to 18 species of tiny to small flycatchers on our list.  Despite the hyphenated group-name, the Pygmy-Tyrants are not a monophyletic group.  In fact, the 18 species are spread across no less than 6 genera (Pseudotriccus, Euscarthmus, Myiornis, Lophotriccus, Atalotriccus and Hemitriccus), the first two of which are most often treated as part of the subfamily Elaeniinae, and the other four of which are recognized as belonging in the subfamily Platyrinchinae.  Complicating things even further, is that 18 of the currently recognized 22 species occupying the genus Hemitriccus share the hyphenated group- name of “Tody-Tyrant”, as opposed to the other 4 species of Hemitriccus that are called “Pygmy-Tyrants”.  Furthermore, the two species of “Bentbills”, long placed in their own genus Oncostoma, occupy a position in our linear sequence that is sandwiched between two genera bearing the English group name of “Pygmy-Tyrants”.

 

The following list represents our current treatment, broken down by genus and hyphenated English group-name:

 

Pseudotriccus “Pygmy-Tyrants”:

 

Pseudotriccus pelzelni Bronze-olive Pygmy-Tyrant

Pseudotriccus simplex Hazel-fronted Pygmy-Tyrant _

Pseudotriccus ruficeps Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant

 

Euscarthmus “Pygmy-Tyrants”:

 

Euscarthmus meloryphus Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant _

Euscarthmus rufomarginatus Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant

 

Myiornis “Pygmy-Tyrants”:

 

Myiornis auricularis Eared Pygmy-Tyrant _

Myiornis albiventris White-bellied Pygmy-Tyrant _

Myiornis atricapillus Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant _

Myiornis ecaudatus Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant

 

Oncostoma “Bentbills”:

 

Oncostoma cinereigulare Northern Bentbill _

Oncostoma olivaceum Southern Bentbill

 

Lophotriccus “Pygmy-Tyrants”:

 

Lophotriccus pileatus Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant _

Lophotriccus vitiosus Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant

Lophotriccus eulophotes Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant _

Lophotriccus galeatus Helmeted Pygmy-Tyrant

 

Atalotriccus “Pygmy-Tyrants”:

 

Atalotriccus pilaris Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant

 

Hemitriccus “Pygmy-Tyrants”:

 

Hemitriccus flammulatus Flammulated Pygmy-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus diops Drab-breasted Pygmy-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus obsoletus Brown-breasted Pygmy-Tyrant

Hemitriccus furcatus Fork-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant

 

Hemitriccus “Tody-Tyrants”:

 

Hemitriccus minor Snethlage's Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus cohnhafti Acre Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus spodiops Yungas Tody-Tyrant

Hemitriccus josephinae Boat-billed Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus zosterops White-eyed Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus griseipectus White-bellied Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus orbitatus Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus iohannis Johannes's Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus striaticollis Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus nidipendulus Hangnest Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus inornatus Pelzeln's Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus minimus Zimmer's Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus granadensis Black-throated Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus cinnamomeipectus Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus mirandae Buff-breasted Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus kaempferi Kaempfer's Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus rufigularis Buff-throated Tody-Tyrant

 

Analysis & Sub-Proposals:

 

Part of the reason for this mess is that a number of these birds were previously placed in other genera, for which one group-name or the other (“Pygmy-Tyrant” or “Tody-Tyrant”) was the standard used.  Thus, most of the species currently within Hemitriccus were previously treated within Idioptilon, whose members were typically called “Tody-Tyrants” whereas the original core members of Hemitriccus (diops, obsoletus and flammulatus) were called “Pygmy-Tyrants”.  Ridgely & Tudor (1994) attempted to navigate the confusion by calling the original core Hemitriccus species “Bamboo-Tyrants”, using the rationale that simply changing the group-name to “Tody-Tyrant” for all Hemitriccus species would result in H. flammulatus having the English name of “Flammulated Tody-Tyrant”, when it was, in fact, less flammulated than several other species of tody-tyrants.  Although novel, I don’t think this approach is ultimately helpful, because it still obscures the relationship of the three species involved to the rest of the genus (as does, currently, use of “Pygmy-Tyrant”).  Also, there are other species of Hemitriccus, such as furcatus, that are equally tied to bamboo, and yet, would not be called “Bamboo-Tyrant” under the naming conventions of Ridgely & Tudor (1994).

 

Regardless, we are left with a convoluted, confusing mess that needs to be cleaned up.  To retain the hyphenated group-names for groups that are not monophyletic violates our own guidelines for the use of hyphens in group-names.  One solution would be to keep the English names for all species involved as they are now, but simply remove the hyphens from the group-names.  I don’t see that as much of a solution, since I would imagine that most people would quite naturally assume that all birds called “Pygmy Tyrants” are more closely related to one another than any are to birds not named “Pygmy Tyrant”, with, or without the hyphen.  This would be particularly misleading with respect to the four species of Hemitriccus that are still called “Pygmy-Tyrant”. Furthermore, I like the potentially informative value of the hyphenated group-name.  However, any other solution is going to involve some fairly dramatic changes to the status quo.  I think the best way to approach this is a piecemeal approach, in which this proposal is broken down into multiple parts.  Here goes:

 

Proposal 702a:  Keep all English names for species in the genera Pseudotriccus, Euscarthmus, Myiornis, Oncostoma, Lophotriccus, Atalotriccus and Hemitriccus as they currently stand, but remove the hyphens from the implied group-names, so that “Pygmy-Tyrants” become “Pygmy Tyrants” and “Tody-Tyrants” become “Tody Tyrants”.  Note that a vote for this sub-proposal would imply a “NO” vote on every other sub-proposal.

 

 

Proposal 702b:  Change the English group-name of Hemitriccus flammulatus, H. diops, H. obsoletus and H. furcatus from “Pygmy-Tyrant” to “Tody-Tyrant”, and then, remove the hyphen from the group name for all Hemitriccus species.  Changing these 4 species from “Pygmy-Tyrants” to “Tody-Tyrants” would give us across-the-board uniformity for the 22 currently recognized species of Hemitriccus, all of which would then be known as “Tody-Tyrants”.  Unfortunately, looking at the results of Tello & Bates (2007), it appears that Hemitriccus is not monophyletic with respect to Myiornis, because H. margaritaceiventer is more closely related to Myiornis than it is to the rest of Hemitriccus.  That means that we can’t use the hyphenated group-name of “Tody-Tyrant” without also including Myiornis, in the mix, along with the other four genera (more on this later).  But, it would still be much less confusing to have all of the Hemitriccus species under the same general banner, which we can achieve by making them all “Tody Tyrant(s)” without the hyphen.

 

Here is what Hemitriccus would look like with adoption of this option:

 

Hemitriccus minor Snethlage's Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus cohnhafti Acre Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus spodiops Yungas Tody Tyrant

Hemitriccus flammulatus Flammulated Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus diops Drab-breasted Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus obsoletus Brown-breasted Tody Tyrant

Hemitriccus josephinae Boat-billed Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus zosterops White-eyed Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus griseipectus White-bellied Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus orbitatus Eye-ringed Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus iohannis Johannes's Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus striaticollis Stripe-necked Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus nidipendulus Hangnest Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer Pearly-vented Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus inornatus Pelzeln's Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus minimus Zimmer's Tody-Tyrant _

Hemitriccus granadensis Black-throated Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus cinnamomeipectus Cinnamon-breasted Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus mirandae Buff-breasted Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus kaempferi Kaempfer's Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus rufigularis Buff-throated Tody Tyrant

Hemitriccus furcatus Fork-tailed Tody Tyrant

 

 

Proposal 702c:  Reserve the hyphenated English group-name of “Pygmy-Tyrant” for the monophyletic group that truly deserves the name:  the genus Myiornis.  The monophyly of this group of four species, is, as far I can tell, unquestioned.  Together, they are the tiniest of the flycatchers, hands-down.  Here is what the “Pygmy-Tyrants” would look like:

 

Myiornis auricularis Eared Pygmy-Tyrant _

Myiornis albiventris White-bellied Pygmy-Tyrant _

Myiornis atricapillus Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant _

Myiornis ecaudatus Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant

 

In other words, adopting this proposal would not change anything where Myiornis is concerned.  But it would restrict use of the hyphenated group-name “Pygmy-Tyrant” to that genus.

 

 

Proposal 702d:  If Proposal 702c is adopted, then something has to be done with the three species of Pseudotriccus and the two species of Euscarthmus, all of which currently share (inappropriately) the hyphenated group-name of “Pygmy-Tyrant.”  The two genera are not particularly close to one another, and neither is at all close to any of the other flycatchers currently called “Pygmy-Tyrants”.  Pseudotriccus and Euscarthmus are not only currently treated as belonging to a different subfamily, but their taxonomic past is even more checkered, with Euscarthmus having, at one time, been variously treated as belonging with either antbirds or gnateaters, based largely on similarities in tarsal scutellation.  One option would be to continue calling members of the two genera “Pygmy Tyrants” without the hyphen, thereby stripping away any implied relationship with Myiornis, as well as any suggestion that Pseudotriccus and Euscarthmus are monophyletic with respect to one another.  Here’s what these two genera would look like:

 

Pseudotriccus pelzelni Bronze-olive Pygmy Tyrant

Pseudotriccus simplex Hazel-fronted Pygmy Tyrant _

Pseudotriccus ruficeps Rufous-headed Pygmy Tyrant

Euscarthmus meloryphus  Tawny-crowned Pygmy Tyrant _

Euscarthmus rufomarginatus Rufous-sided Pygmy Tyrant

 

This course would involve the least amount of disruption to the status quo where these five species are concerned, but we would still be left with the potential for confusion regarding the implied relationship of Pseudotriccus and Euscarthmus to one another, as well as that of both genera to Myiornis and anything else sharing the hyphenated group-name of “Pygmy-Tyrant”.  A YES vote on 702d would mean retaining the current English names for these five species, but removing the hyphen linking “Pygmy” and “Tyrant”.  A NO vote would require a YES vote on either 702e or 702f.

 

Proposal 702e:  In the event of Proposal 702c passing, 702e would provide an alternative naming convention than that proposed in 702d.  The simplest alternative would be to remove “Pygmy” from the English names of the five species of Pseudotriccus and Euscarthmus, leaving us with:

 

Pseudotriccus pelzelni Bronze-olive Tyrant

Pseudotriccus simplex Hazel-fronted Tyrant _

Pseudotriccus ruficeps Rufous-headed Tyrant

Euscarthmus meloryphus  Tawny-crowned Tyrant _

Euscarthmus rufomarginatus Rufous-sided Tyrant

 

This option is more streamlined than the others, and I don’t think there are any conflicts stemming from these proposed name changes.  The disadvantage is that we are sacrificing any attempt at an informative group-name, and there are, after all, bunches of things that are just called “Tyrants”.  A YES vote on 702e is a vote for removing “Pygmy” from the English names of Pseudotriccus and Euscarthmus, and foregoing any attempt at group names or other modifiers for these two genera.

 

Proposal 702f:  Construct new group-names for Pseudotriccus and Euscarthmus. Still another option would be to construct a new hyphenated group-name for each of these genera, which may not be worth the bother, given the small number of species (3 and 2 respectively) involved.  I could see calling the two Euscarthmus “Scrub-Tyrants” for example, although I’m hard-pressed to come up with an appropriate group name for Pseudotriccus.  To clarify things as much as possible, let’s say that a NO vote on this sub-proposal requires a YES vote for either 702d or 702e.  A YES vote is a vote to construct new group-names for Pseudotriccus and Euscarthmus.  Passage of 702f would trigger a separate proposal to come up with new group names.

 

Proposal 702g:  If sub-proposal 702c passes, restricting the use of the hyphenated group-name “Pygmy-Tyrant” to the species in the genus “Myiornis”, then we are left with the question of needing to do something with the 4 species of Lophotriccus and the 1 species in Atalotriccus, all of which are currently called “Pygmy-Tyrants”.  The least disruptive choice, as is the case for Pseudotriccus and Euscarthmus, would be to simply drop the hyphens linking “Pygmy” and “Tyrant”, leaving us with this:

 

Lophotriccus pileatus Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant _

Lophotriccus vitiosus Double-banded Pygmy Tyrant

Lophotriccus eulophotes Long-crested Pygmy Tyrant _

Lophotriccus galeatus Helmeted Pygmy Tyrant

 

Atalotriccus pilaris Pale-eyed Pygmy Tyrant

 

Once again, although less disruptive, this alternative leaves us with the continuing confusion (with, or without the hyphen) of unrelated birds being called “Pygmy Tyrant.”  A YES vote on 702g is for retaining the English names of the 4 Lophotriccus and 1 Atalotriccus, but removing the hyphen linking “Pygmy” and “Tyrant.”  A NO vote on 702g would require a YES vote on either 702h or 702i.

 

Proposal 702h:  Change the English names of the various species of Lophotriccus and Atalotriccus from “Pygmy-Tyrants” to “Tody Tyrants”, to align with Hemitriccus, which currently has a monopoly on the name “Tody-Tyrant”.

 

SACC Tyrannidae Note 45a reads as follows:  “The genetic data of Tello & Bates (2007) and Tello et al. (2009) found that Lophotriccus was paraphyletic with respect to Oncostoma, and that Hemitriccus was paraphyletic with respect to these two genera and Atalotriccus.  Although further taxon-sampling is needed, a case could be made that these five genera [KJZ: the four mentioned plus Myiornis] should be combined (Hemitriccus has priority).  SACC proposal needed.” 

 

Setting aside the larger question of formally subsuming Lophotriccus, Oncostoma and Atalotriccus into Hemitriccus, the molecular evidence supports the premise that these genera constitute a monophyletic group, but only if Myiornis is also included (Tello & Bates 2007, Tello et al. 2009).  Tello and Bates found that Lophotriccus was paraphyletic with respect to Oncostoma, and that Hemitriccus was paraphyletic with respect to Lophotriccus, Oncostoma and Atalotriccus.  Myiornis appears to be monophyletic as constituted.  It would be great if we could extend the hyphenated group-name “Tody-Tyrant” from Hemitriccus to include Lophotriccus, Atalotriccus and Oncostoma.  Unfortunately, looking at results of Tello & Bates (2007), it appears that Hemitriccus is not monophyletic with respect to Myiornis, because H. margaritaceiventer is more closely related to Myiornis than it is to the rest of Hemitriccus.  That means that not only can we not extend the hyphenated group-name of “Tody-Tyrant” beyond Hemitriccus, but, as already spelled out in sub-proposal 702b, it also means that we can’t use that hyphenated group-name at all, without also including Myiornis in the mix, along with the other four genera.

 

I still think there is value in using a simplified naming scheme that reflects how closely related all of these little flycatchers are to one another, even if we can’t use the hyphenated group-name.  So, I would propose that we change the English names of the various species of Lophotriccus and Atalotriccus (we’ll deal with Oncostoma in a separate sub-proposal) from “Pygmy Tyrants” to “Tody-Tyrants” and then drop the hyphen from all things named “Tody-Tyrant” (including all of the Hemitriccus, which currently has a monopoly on the name “Tody-Tyrant”).  Doing this would allow us to keep Myiornis as Pygmy-Tyrants while having all of the other species in the group sharing a similar “implied group name” without violating our own rules of hyphenation as related to monophyletic groups.  Hemitriccus not only has priority as a genus, but it is by far the most speciose of the four genera in question, which would mean that the English names of 22 out of 29 species would remain exactly the same (assuming that subproposal 702b passes), except for the loss of the hyphen in the “group name”.  At the same time, by expanding the use of “Tody Tyrant” as an “implied group name”, we would not only be retaining the informative value inherent in the use of a hyphenated group-name, but expanding it, while indicating just how closely related the four genera are to one another.  So, although this would involve a big change in some respects, it could also be viewed as both streamlining and conservative, in the sense that it provides the simplest course of action that still grants us the use of a phylogenetically suggestive “implied group name”, while conserving the existing name (minus the hyphens) of a majority of the species involved.  Although not monophyletic in the strict sense (because of the exclusion of Myiornis) using “Tody Tyrant” as an informal “implied” group name is much more accurate phylogenetically than using “Pygmy Tyrant” as an informal “implied” group name encompassing Myiornis, Lophotriccus, Atalotriccus, Pseudotriccus, Euscarthmus and 4 species of Hemitriccus, which is what we would be looking at if 702a and/or 702d were to pass.

 

Passage of this sub-proposal would give us the following:

 

Oncostoma cinereigulare Northern Bentbill* _{See below…}

Oncostoma olivaceum Southern Bentbill *

 

Lophotriccus pileatus Scale-crested Tody Tyrant _

Lophotriccus vitiosus Double-banded Tody Tyrant

Lophotriccus eulophotes Long-crested Tody Tyrant _

Lophotriccus galeatus Helmeted Tody Tyrant

 

Atalotriccus pilaris Pale-eyed Tody Tyrant

 

Hemitriccus minor Snethlage's Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus cohnhafti Acre Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus spodiops Yungas Tody Tyrant

Hemitriccus flammulatus Flammulated Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus diops Drab-breasted Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus obsoletus Brown-breasted Tody Tyrant

Hemitriccus josephinae Boat-billed Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus zosterops White-eyed Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus griseipectus White-bellied Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus orbitatus Eye-ringed Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus iohannis Johannes's Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus striaticollis Stripe-necked Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus nidipendulus Hangnest Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer Pearly-vented Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus inornatus Pelzeln's Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus minimus Zimmer's Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus granadensis Black-throated Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus cinnamomeipectus Cinnamon-breasted Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus mirandae Buff-breasted Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus kaempferi Kaempfer's Tody Tyrant _

Hemitriccus rufigularis Buff-throated Tody Tyrant

Hemitriccus furcatus Fork-tailed Tody Tyrant

 

Proposal #702i:  To reiterate, the work of Tello & Bates (2007) and Tello et al. (2009) demonstrates that Lophotriccus is paraphyletic with respect to Oncostoma, and Hemitriccus is paraphyletic with respect to Lophotriccus, Oncostoma, Atalotriccus and Myiornis, but Myiornis, by itself, is monophyletic.  All of this means that the only way that we can use hyphenated group-names within these five genera would be to lump everything (including Myiornis) together under the group name of “Tody-Tyrant”, or, to restrict “Pygmy-Tyrant” to Myiornis, and not use a hyphenated group-name for anything else.  Going with Option #1 would confer the advantage of having a phylogenetically informative, hyphenated group-name binding all members of this monophyletic group together.  It would have the disadvantage of not allowing us to further recognize the distinctiveness of Myiornis, and, I believe it would also require us to come up with completely new names for the two species of Oncostoma, because they would have to share the hyphenated group-name, and using the current modifiers of “Northern” and “Southern” would make zero sense within the context of a greatly expanded set of “Tody-Tyrants”.  So, a YES vote on this sub-proposal is a vote for recognizing all five genera under discussion as the monophyletic group they appear to represent by applying the hyphenated group-name of “Tody-Tyrant” to all members of Hemitriccus, Lophotriccus, Atalotriccus, Oncostoma and Myiornis.  It also automatically implies a NO vote to sub-proposals 702a, 702g, and 702h, and a YES vote on sub-proposal 702b, which would be a necessary precursor.

 

Proposal 702j:  Change the English names of the two species of Oncostoma.

 

Finally, if neither 702a nor 702i passes, then we still have to address the issue of the two species of Oncostoma, which are currently called Northern Bentbill and Southern Bentbill.  The molecular work of Tello & Bates and Tello et al. makes clear that Oncostoma is closely related to  Hemitriccus, Lophotriccus and Atalotriccus, but the only way that we can use a hyphenated group-name for any of these four genera is to include all four, plus Myiornis (= adopt Proposal 702i).  If we don’t go that route, then we are not under any constraints to change the names of the two bentbills, although we could.  The two options I see are either to retain the current English names for the two species of Oncostoma, or, to make them “Tody Tyrants” to be in line with all of their closest relatives.  Personally, given that the absence of a hyphenated group-name frees us from the constraint of making such a change, I would prefer to leave the bentbills alone.  The name is novel, clearly links the two species that are almost certainly closest relatives, and also acts to define a peculiar morphotype within the clade.  So, consider a NO vote on this sub-proposal a vote to make no change with the English names of the two Oncostoma species.  A YES vote would be to change them both to “something Tody Tyrant”, and that would trigger a separate proposal to come up with new modifiers.

 

 

Recommendation:  Start by acknowledging that we have to do something.  The status quo violates our own naming conventions concerning the use of hyphenated group-names, and engenders nothing but confusion.  The simplest and least-disruptive change would be to adopt #702a and vote NO on everything else.  However, to my thinking, that is also the least satisfactory option, one that perpetuates and codifies the existing confusion only for the sake of conformity, without adding any informative value to any of the English names.

 

I would recommend the following:

 

702a:  NO

702b:  YES

702c:  YES

702d:  NO

702e:  YES

702f:  NO

702g:  NO

702h:  YES

702i:  NO

702j:  NO

 

Additional thoughts:

 

Adoption of these recommendations would leave us with a streamlined situation involving only one hyphenated group-name (Pygmy-Tyrant) applied to only four species.  This group-name would actually apply to a monophyletic group, and, as such, is infinitely more informative than our current situation, in which unrelated birds from multiple genera and two subfamilies share the hyphenated group-name of “Pygmy-Tyrant”. It would also conform to our own English-name conventions.

 

Passage of 702b is strongly recommended, to get all of the Hemitriccus species using the same “implied group name” of “Tody Tyrant”, albeit without the hyphen that can only be applied to monophyletic groups.  To not pass this sub-proposal would mean sticking with the current, exceptionally misleading status quo, in which 18 species of Hemitriccus would be called Tody Tyrants (without the hyphen), and the other 4 would be called Pygmy Tyrants (without the hyphen)

 

Finally, Pseudotriccus and Euscarthmus are outliers in this conversation, but outliers that, unfortunately, currently (and inappropriately) share the same hyphenated group-name with four other genera, none of which are closely related.  At the very least, we have to remove the group hyphen from their names.  I would favor dropping any attempt at a group name for these few species, but I could be persuaded to go in either of the other two directions mentioned above.

 

Literature Cited:

 

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

 

TELLO, J. G., AND J. M. BATES.  2007. Molecular phylogenetics of the tody-tyrant and flatbill assemblage of tyrant flycatchers (Tyrannidae).  Auk 124: 134-154.

 

TELLO, J. G., MOYLE, R. G., D. J. MARCHESE, AND J. CRACRAFT.  2009.  Phylogeny and phylogenetic classification of the tyrant-flycatchers, cotingas, manakins, and their allies (Aves: Tyrannides).  Cladistics 25: 1-39.

 

Kevin J. Zimmer, February 2016

 

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Comments from Remsen:

“A. NO.  This just perpetuates the misleading connotation of relatedness among those with shared “last names” to the exclusion of the others, i.e., the underlying fallacy in Gill’s (IOC) logic for removal of hyphens.”

B. NO.  I oppose any solution that produces unhyphenated “Tody Tyrant” because “Tody” is the name of another group of birds, thus creating potential confusion, especially when English names are rendered without caps.

C. YES. Although this might be a temporary solution if Myiornis found to be non-monophyletic.”

D. YES.  Required removal of hyphens dictated by our policy.

E. NO, as required by YES on D.  This maximizes stability.

F. NO, as required by YES on D.  This maximizes stability.

G. YES.  Required removal of hyphens dictated by our policy.

H. YES.  Although I see that this conflicts somewhat with a yes vote on G and my concern for stability, I like this solution better because (1)” <to be continued>

 

Comments from Stiles: “Again, I’m not fascinated by the hyphen game, but Kevin’s suggestions do help to clean up the English names appreciably, making them more (if not perfectly, but I can’t come up with anything better) congruent with the generic nomenclature. So, YES to b,c,e and h, and NO to the other subproposals. Scrub-tyrant isnęt bad for Euscarthmus, but the plumages of the two Pseudotriccus, pelzelni and ruficeps, are so different that no descriptive name could cover both.”

 

Comments from Jaramillo: “A – YES. Perhaps I am being dense here, but this proposal is very confusing. The way I read it, if we accept the suggested voting in the proposal we would end up with some hyphenated and some non-hyphenated group names. This would be very confusing for use by people out there. You would in essence have to know relationship to know when to hyphenate, that is a lot to ask. I would rather just do away with the hyphens, and although ugly and maybe less informative in this case, it is easier to remember. Is there a way we can vote on a “pass” for this set of birds, and just leave them hyphenated as they are? Even if it breaks our rules?

 

“Note also that I am very much in favor of retaining “Bentbill” for the two species, which is a darn good name and useful in the field. Any change to that in order to fit hyphenation rules would be a problem for me. So on 702J – definitely a double NO.

 

Comments from Robbins: “If I were voting on this proposal, I would either support Kevin’s suggestions (voting “yes” b, c, e and h, no for all others) or I would propose a modification to his suggestions.  In order to keep the name “tody tyrant” unique to Lophotriccus, I would suggest using Hemitriccus for the English ending for all members of that genus, e.g., Acre Hemitriccus, Yungas Hemitriccus.  This would eliminate much confusion and would also have the added benefit of conveying that all those species are part of the same clade.  Finally, like Alvaro, I would vote no for any proposal that changed the name from the very appropriate “bentbill” to anything else, regardless of Oncostoma relatives.”