Proposal (489) to South American Classification Committee


Changes in various species names to conform to The Code


N. David and M. Gosselin have done another paper (2011) on gender agreement of species group names in birds, concentrating on words that could be either nouns or adjectives (Code Art. 31.2.2).  Results of their study indicate that the spelling of five specific names of birds in the Americas should be changed (if they now agree with Dickinson 2003) to conform to the Code.  These changes are because names previously treated as nouns in apposition are really adjectives, or vice versa.


All five species occur in South America; two are also in North America.


South America:


Aramides cajanea should be A. cajaneus

Porphyrio martinica should be P. martinicus

Amazona mercenaria should be A. mercenarius

Frederickena unduligera should be F. unduliger

Premnornis guttuligera should be P. guttuliger


North America:


Aramides cajanea should be A. cajaneus

Porphyrio martinica should be P. martinicus


Literature Cited


David, N., and M. Gosselin.  2011.  Gender agreement of avian species-group names under Article 31.2.2 of the ICZN Code.  Bull. Brit. Ornithol. Club 131:103-115.

Dickinson, Edward. 2003.  Howard and Moore Checklist



Richard C. Banks, June 2011



Comments from Nores:  “YES. It is clear in the analysis made by David and Gosselin (2011) that the spelling of the specific names of these five species should be changed. However, there are a large number of South American birds, which are in a similar situation that should be analyzed. I will try to make a proposal about this subject.”


Comments from Stiles: “YES - if the pundits say so, it’s best to go along.”


Comments from Pacheco:  “YES.  Os autores apresentaram razões plenamente afinadas com o ICZN.”


Comments from Zimmer: “YES, although am I the only one who is no longer sure what the Latin name of anything is, or what family half of the passerines are now in?  Seems like a lifetime of learned nomenclature has gone out the window in a few short years, thanks to the need for gender agreement of species group names combine with the molecular revolution!”