Proposal (515) to South American Classification Committee



Remove hyphens from certain English names that do not represent monophyletic groups: “Black-Hawk"


AOU policy is that hyphenation of group names indicates that the group is monophyletic.  See proposals 401 and 402, for example for background.


In his comments on 402, Alvaro asked whether we should just do this automatically when new data refute the monophyly of a hyphenated group, and I personally would like to go that route so that I don’t have to waste time on proposals like this one.  However, I one could make a case that each instance might differ, and so here we go with a couple of additional examples.


By accepting the classification of Raposo do Amaral et al. (2009) (SACC proposal 492), we accept that “Common Black-Hawk” and “Great Black-Hawk” do not form a monophyletic group within Buteogallus.  Therefore, the hyphen, now misleading, should be removed.



Van Remsen, February 2012



Comments from Jaramillo: “YES – Confirming that this is a good idea and we should do this automatically in the future.”


Comments from Stiles: “YES.  Seems a good way to indicate that these species are not sisters, as the name with a hyphen implies.”