Proposal (187) to South American Classification Committee


Change English name of Neopipo cinnamomea


Summary of voting procedure and issue: This is the first in a series of proposals to establish an agreed English name for Neopipo cinnamomea. Four possible alternatives exist for the name of this species, perhaps making this a uniquely difficult case procedurally. A voting strategy has been developed in consultation with Van Remsen that will allow all names to be voted upon, and thus all proponents of names to feel that their case has been heard, so to speak.


This English name of this species is currently "Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin" on the baseline. Other names used in the literature are "Cinnamon Neopipo" and "Cinnamon Tyrant". A fourth name, "Cinnamon Manakin-Tyrant" may be the best name of all, but is not currently used.


Voting will therefore take place via a series of three proposals:


A. Change name of Neopipo cinnamomea to "Cinnamon Neopipo"

B. Change name of Neopipo cinnamomea to "Cinnamon Tyrant"

C. Change name of Neopipo cinnamomea to "Cinnamon Manakin-Tyrant"


Regardless of the result of any proposal, each of the other proposals will be put forwards. Thus, each proposal can be addressed independently on its merits against the name used at the time and voting can take place independently, if this is desired. Alternatively, discussions in voting could be used to argue towards an agreed voting strategy aimed at minimizing multiple switches in the English name of this taxon. For example, if a majority were in favour of (C.), they could vote against (B.) and (A.) even if they are preferred to the baseline. I have put these proposals simply in order of personal preference (least to greatest).


Discussion generally: I'll quote from the baseline extract explanation of the status of this species, as I do not think I can improve on Remsen's succinctness in summarizing the situation:


"Neopipo cinnamomea was formerly (e.g., Pinto 1944, Phelps & Phelps 1950a, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) placed in the Pipridae ("Cinnamon Manakin"); placement in Tyrannidae follows Mobley and Prum (1995). Called "Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin" in Sibley & Monroe (1990), "Cinnamon Tyrant" in Mobley & Prum (1995) and Fitzpatrick (2004), and "Cinnamon Neopipo" in Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) and Hilty (2003), thus perhaps setting a new temporal record for lack of stability in an English name. Proposal needed."


Proposal for Cinnamon Neopipo: I would suggest that reverting to the Latin generic name "Cinnamon Neopipo", as has been suggested by Ridgely and Hilty, among others, would be a retrograde step. "Neopipo" simply means "New Manakin" to me, albeit in a dead language. A beginner unaware of the family of this species and looking at it for the first time would almost certainly assume it were a piprid if it were to have this English name. Mobley & Prum's paper provided pretty solid evidence that this species is in the Myiophobus assemblage of the Tyrannidae and is not at all related to the Pipridae - it thus seems very unlikely to move again meaning that a family-neutral name is not necessary. Finally, the GOOGLE search described below suggests that this name has not "caught on" at all (Schiffornis as an English name, by comparison, had over 700 hits). I would therefore suggest a "No" vote for this name.


[Proposal for Cinnamon Manakin-Tyrant: I would suggest that "Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin", the current SACC baseline name, is inappropriate because:


Anairetes alpinus Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant: is a Tyrant, not a Tit.

Stigmatura budytoides Greater Wagtail-Tyrant: is a Tyrant, not a Wagtail

Phylloscartes lanyoni Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant: is a Tyrant, not a Bristle

Sublegatus modestus Southern Scrub-Flycatcher: is a Flycatcher, not a Scrub.

Hemitriccus griseipectus White-bellied Tody-Tyrant: is a Tyrant, not a Tody

Knipolegus poecilocercus Amazonian Black-Tyrant: is a Tyrant, not a Black

Muscisaxicola albifrons White-fronted Ground-Tyrant: is a Tyrant not a Ground

Myiotheretes fumigatus Smoky Bush-Tyrant: is a Tyrant, not a Bush

Fluvicola pica Pied Water-Tyrant: is a Tyrant not a Water.


"Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin" is, however, NOT a Manakin but is a Tyrant.


The obvious thing to do if one were starting from scratch would be to switch the order of the words "Manakin" and "Tyrant" to form "Cinnamon Manakin-Tyrant". Given the lack of stability of the name of this taxon, this may be the best thing to do in any event. SACC is increasingly being adopted as the standard by scientific journals. Any decision would therefore be likely to catch on. However, approving such usage at this stage would involve a name with no history and could be criticized as subjective when there is nothing strictly "wrong" with "Cinnamon Tyrant" or "Cinnamon Neopipo," the other alternative name. Furthermore, plenty of wrong, misleading or just plain boring tyrannid names exist, thus a good reason would be needed to treat this differently. Such reasons could be that, "Manakin-Tyrant" nicely reflects the original mistake in the taxon's classification (and its Latin name) and has the advantage of minimizing change from the current name on SACC. Also, few would confuse this name with that currently on the baseline and in wide use.


A GOOGLE search of the relevant English name together with the word "Neopipo" revealed the following: Cinnamon Tyrant 296, Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin 521, Cinnamon Neopipo 32, and Cinnamon Manakin 52. This would suggest that stability would favour the misleading current moniker "Tyrant-Manakin" ahead of "Tyrant" and then "Neopipo". Support for "Manakin-Tyrant" could perhaps be drawn from usage of "Tyrant-Manakin" given the similarity of these two formulations.


Proposal for Cinnamon Tyrant: "Cinnamon Tyrant" seems to be gathering increasing support as the name for this species with the passage of time, with HBW an important publication in this context. This name bears consideration as the probably the best of the available names in current use. It is also fairly widely used, as shown in the GOOGLE results, though not as much as the erroneous current moniker.


I note for completeness that the Cinnamon Flycatcher Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus occupies the other possible English name combination for this species.


References above are all cited on the SACC references pages.


Voting on the first vote (A): A "Yes" vote would be to change "Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin" to "Cinnamon Neopipo". A "No" vote would be to retain "Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin". A vote either way would leave open the possibility of either "Cinnamon Tyrant" or "Cinnamon Manakin-Tyrant".


2/6/06: "A" did not pass. Voting on "187B" thus begins.

[Voting on the second vote (B): A "Yes" vote would be to supplant either "Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin" or "Cinnamon Neopipo", depending on outcome of first vote, with "Cinnamon Tyrant". A "No" vote would be to retain the then current name. A vote either way would leave open the possibility of "Cinnamon Manakin-Tyrant".


Voting on the third vote (C): A "Yes" vote would be to supplant "Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin", "Cinnamon Neopipo" or "Cinnamon Tyrant" with "Cinnamon Manakin-Tyrant". A "No" vote would be to retain the then current name.]


In summary, for the first round of votes, vote on proposal A above. Subsequent rounds will consider B and C.


Thomas Donegan, 28 October 2005


Addendum from Remsen: Gill and Wright (2006) use "Cinnamon Neopipo."





187-A: Change name of Neopipo cinnamomea to "Cinnamon Neopipo"


Comments from Remsen on 187-A: "NO, for reasons presented by Donegan. Additionally, creating new English names from genus names is only a 'last resort' measure, in my opinion, if no other solution can be found."


Comments from Zimmer: "NO". I realize that we are voting specifically on the name "Cinnamon Neopipo", but I would just add that I really don't have a problem with continuing to call it a Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin even though it is not a manakin (we still call Chordeiles Nighthawks and some Sturnella Meadowlarks, and yes, I get the distinction of having a hyphenated group-name). At least that name is distinct, as opposed to just another Tyrant or Flycatcher."


Comments from Robbins: "NO. Ever since Mobley and Prum's (1995) paper I have supported an English name change for Neopipo cinnamomea. Clearly, the current English name is not appropriate. It is unfortunate that Ridgely and Greenfield (2001) and Hilty (2003) did not follow M & P's quite reasonable suggestion of "Cinnamon Tyrant". I feel that is the most appropriate name and the fact that M & P, who clarified the relationships of this taxon, suggested the name is all the more reason to follow their suggestion. I vote "no", in the hope that we will consider option B."


Comments from Stiles: "NO. Kevin has a good point, and there is the additional consideration that until M&P, Neopipo was generally considered to be a manakin such that most literature references using the English name would be found under "Manakin" (and those using the family name as well), such that the hyphenated name would help to call attention to this.


"We could establish a principle here (or better, formalize what appears to be the informal consensus on such things): where the English name of a bird contains the names of two different groups separated by a hyphen (e.g., tit-tyrant, wagtail-tyrant) , the name of the SECOND group is that to which the bird actually belongs, while the FIRST name is that of the group which the bird resembles or with which it has been confused. Thus, "Manakin-Tyrant" for Neopipo (it´s a tyrant that had been considered a manakin) and "Tyrant-Manakin" for Neopelma (it´s a manakin that looks like a tyrant). Cases like "bush-tyrant" don´t enter, they are merely adjectives referring to some attribute and since adjectives precede the noun in English anyway, no ambiguity is created ("tyrant-bush" could only be interpreted as a particularly thorny member of the vegetable kingdom, not a bird). Hence, I also will hold out for "Manakin-Tyrant". (If this one flies, we should perhaps check through the list for consistency on this point)."


Additional comments from Donegan: "Not noted in the proposal but for completeness: Tyrant-Manakin is the English name for the Neopelma (Pipridae), which could be considered confusing if used for a Tyrannid. Using either 'Tyrant' or 'Manakin-Tyrant' would circumvent this as an issue."


Comments from Pacheco: "YES. Em vista do uso prévio de Tyrant-Manakin para Neopelma, eu considero conveniente dentre as diversas e disputadas possibilidades a alteração para "Cinnamon Neopipo."




187-B. Change name of Neopipo cinnamomea to "Cinnamon Tyrant"


Comments from Remsen on 187-B: NO. I like "Tyrant-Manakin" to preserve the "error" and the continuity (vs. just "Tyrant") [holding out for "Manakin-Tyrant" on 187-C]."


Comments from Zimmer: "NO. I'm holding out for "Cinnamon Manakin-Tyrant", and I think Gary made a good point about formalizing the convention of putting the correct group name last in one of these compound group names."


Comments from Jaramillo: "YES - I like the simplicity of Cinnamon Tyrant, I would like to avoid hyphenated names if at all possible. The fact that the HBW uses this name means that in a sense it is a world wide standard now and the most stable choice in my mind is to go with Cinnamon Tyrant."


Comments from Pacheco: "NO. Mantendo a coerência na minha opinião precedente, voto não."


Comments from Schulenberg: "YES. I can't grasp why anyone would want to preserve any permutation of "tyrant-manakin" or "manakin-tyrant".


"We all are in agreement that Neopipo is a tyrannid.


"Neopipo looks like a tyrannid.


"Although Neopipo does not look like a manakin, in the past it was classified as such (Why? As far as I can tell [Snow, 1975, BBOC 95: 21], primarily on the basis of tarsal scutellation and foot structure, characters that have not been given any weight in tyrannoid classification for decades)


"But even though Neopipo was classified in the past as a manakin it was recognized that it didn't look anything like a manakin; hence the need for the name "Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin"


"So why preserve "manakin" in the name in any form? Neopipo looks nothing like a manakin (and no one ever has thought that it did). Retaining "manakin" in any form in the name, then, is ... what? A tribute to the exaspidean form of tarsal scutellation? (Who cares?) A tribute to the long legacy of inaccurate classifications based on trivial characters with little or no phylogenetic content?


"Neopipo" also strikes me a dumb name, since it tells us ... exactly nothing about what the bird is.


I don't see any problem with "Cinnamon Tyrant". Neopipo is cinnamon, it is a tyrant. The risk of confusion with "Cinnamon Attila" or "Cinnamon Flycatcher" seems trivial to me (and seems to me to be much less than the risk if confusing "Manakin-Tyrant" with "Tyrant-Manakin").




187-C [if 187-B does not pass]:


Comments from Nores on 187-C: "YES. Yo estoy de acuerdo con Stiles que, en los nombres compuestos separados por un guion, el segundo nombre indique la familia a la que pertenece la especie y el primero a la que recuerda. Pienso que en ese aspecto hay que uniformar, a pesar de que haya que crear algunos nombres nuevos."


Comments from Schulenberg: "NO [see above].


Comments from Remsen on 187-C: "YES. But with little enthusiasm for a name that I regard as the least-noxious of the three choices. As for Tom's point about it looking "nothing like a manakin", one could argue that it was more than just tarsal scutellation that allowed Neopipo to reside comfortably in Pipridae for most of a century in terms of bill shape, size, and vaguely Heterocercus-like plumage. The reason I like preserving the "manakin" part of the name is to remind of us the error, not preserve it per se. Hyphenated English names are more frequent in the Tyrannidae than in any other family, and so adding another doesn't bother me."


Comments from Stiles: "YES. I´ll reiterate my vote for "manakin-tyrant" (arguments given in the previous melee)"