Proposal (21) to South American Classification Committee


Change of English name of Rollandia microptera


Called Short-winged Grebe by Hellmayr and Conover (1948), Meyer de Schauensee (1966, 1970) and most subsequent authors. Fjeldså and Krabbe (1990) proposed the name 'Titicaca Flightless Grebe' and has been used by Stattersfield et al. (1997).


Following the criteria used by BirdLife International (see proposal on Podiceps taczanowskii), it could be called 'Titicaca Grebe.' The 'flightless' would be omitted.


The species occurs on Lake Titicaca on the Peru/Bolivia border and in Lake Poopó. However, most recent records are from Lake Titicaca. 'Titicaca Grebe' is a very good name as this is also the name used in Spanish: Zambullidor del Titicaca. There is a precedence on the name change of a grebe due to its restricted range. In Guatemala Podilymbus gigas name was changed from Giant Pied-billed Grebe to Atitlán Grebe, because it was only known from Lake Atitlán.


I propose that the name be changed to Titicaca Grebe as it is very specific as to its present distribution.


Hellmayr, Charles (=Carl) E., and Boardman Conover. 1948. Catalogue of birds of the Americas and the adjacent islands .. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser., 13: 36.

Meyer de Schauensee, Rodolphe. 1966. The species of birds of South America and their distribution. Livingston Publishing Company, Narberth, Pennsylvania, p. 11.

Meyer de Schauensee, Rodolphe. 1970. A guide to the birds of South America. Livingston Publishing Company, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, p. 11.

Fjeldså, Jon, and Niels Krabbe. 1990. Birds of the high Andes. A manual to the birds of the temperate zone of the Andes and Patagonia, South America. Zool. Museum, Univ. Copenhagen, p. 66-67.

Stattersfield, Alison J., Michael J. Crosby, Adrian J. Long, and David C. Wege. 1997. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for biodiversity conservation. BirdLife Conser. Ser. no. 7: 680, 659.


Manuel A. Plenge, 20 June 2002



Comments from Robbins:
"I vote "yes" for both of Manuel's proposals. Both proposed names are far more informative than their current English names."


Comments from Tom Schulenberg:
"I usually prefer to retain established names. "Short-winged" is an awkward name, but it is established. And given that this species is not endemic to Lake Titicaca (even if that lake forms the larger part of its distribution), I don't see a compelling reason to change the name.


Comments from Gary Stiles:
"Same logic [as for Proposal 20]. Even if the bird does occur on another nearby lake, this doesn't seriously compromise things: it's still very restricted, and certainly the bulk of the range is Titicaca."


Comments from Alvaro Jaramillo:
"YES, the change to Titicaca Grebe is a good one. I hesitated on this due to Tom's comment, retaining established names is important. However, Short-winged Grebe is just an awful name. Also, I still see Titicaca Flightless Grebe as a name, and wonder how well entrenched Short-winged Grebe as a name. "


Comments from Zimmer: "As much as I favor stability in English names, I'm willing to make exceptions. The name "Titicaca Grebe" would seem to be so informative that introduction of a new name would actually confer more recognition than retaining the old "familiar" name of Short-winged Grebe. Record me as a "yes" vote for changing to "Titicaca Grebe"."