Proposal (490) to South American Classification Committee


The correct name for Chlorostilbon aureoventris is C. lucidus


A recent paper by Pacheco & Whitney (2006) has presented arguments for the use of Chlorostilbon lucidus (Shaw 1812) as the correct name for the species treated in most recent literature as C. aureoventris (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye 1838). Shaw described this species on the basis of the informal description by Azara (1802-1805), which did not propose formal Latin names but referred to this species as the “Pica-flor más bello” (no. 293) from Paraguay.  Azara’s text describes the birds observed by him in Paraguay and the vicinity of Río de la Plata, now in Argentina and Uruguay, and there appears to be no doubt that this is the bird described by Shaw.  The adoption of aureoventris for this species apparently was due to Hartert (1892), who placed the name lucidus in the synonymy of Hylocharis (Basilinna) leucotis of Middle America, quite likely simply confusing the two rather similar names.  Under current ICZN rules, a name having priority that has been used since 1899 (however infrequently) should be considered the correct one, and lucidus has been used for this species by Olrog (1963) and Cuello (1985).  Therefore, the species usually called Chlorostilbon aureoventris (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye 1838) should be known as Chlorostilbon lucidus (Shaw 1812). Hence, I recommend a YES on this proposal.


References (a more complete list is given by Pacheco & Whitney 2006):

Azara, F. de 1802-1805. Apuntes para la historia natural de los páxaros del Paraguay y Río de la Plata. Imprenta de la Viuda de Barra, Madrid.

Cuello, J. 1985. Lista de referencia y bibliografía de las aves uruguayas. Intendencia Municipal de Montevideo, Uruguay.

Hartert, E. 1892. Catalogue of Birds in the British Museum, vol. 16. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London.

Olrog, C. 1963. Lista y distribución de las aves argentinas.  Instituto Miguel Lillo, Tucumán, Argentina.

Pacheco, J. F. & B. M. Whitney 2006. Mandatory changes to the scientific names of three Neotropical birds. BBOC 126:242-244.

Shaw, G. 1812. General Zoology or systematic natural history, vol. 8.  G. Kearsley, London.


Gary Stiles, July 2011



Comments from Nores:  “YES. Azara described with much accuracy this hummingbird as “El más bello” No. CCXCIII, pag. 66 and I agree that there appears to be no doubt that this is the bird described by Shaw. I want only to make a clarification: Steullet and Deautier (1945). Catálogo sistemático de las aves de la República Argentina, were the first authors that used lucidus for this species.”


Comments from Zimmer: “YES, because it seems that lucidus does have priority.”


Comments from Pérez-Emán:  “YES. Information given in this proposal clearly indicates Chlorostilbon lucidus should be the name for Chlorostilbon aureoventris.”