Proposal (519) to South American Classification Committee



The correct name for Eriocnemis alinae is Eriocnemis aline



A recent paper by David & Peterson (2010) ( addresses the correct original citations of the three names of hummingbirds.  The authors in their abstract clearly explain the situation:


Three hummingbird names published twice, just weeks apart, with spellings that differ, have led to nomenclatural instability due to uncertainty regarding which article appeared first.  Here we provide two relevant dates that allow us to settle this case.  We also include an extract of a notice from the editor of the Revue Zoologique making clear that standard policy was to publish in the first days of the month after the imprint month‐date.”


Two of the names are correctly spelled in SACC.  Therefore, a decision must be taken to modify the third case, namely change Eriocnemis alinae to Eriocnemis aline based on the conclusions in the cited paper.  Consequently, I recommend a YES to this proposal.



David, N. & A. P. Peterson.  2010.  Resolution of priority affecting three hummingbird names established by Bourcier (Aves: Trochilidae).  Zoological Bibliography 2010 1(1): 3-5.


Manuel A. Plenge, March 2012




Comments from Edward C. Dickinson:  "This proposal deserves support if only due to the inconsistency in the SACC-used spellings. Zoological Bibliography is a peer-reviewed publication, and as Acting Editor I can confirm that this paper met no opposition. The "notice from the editor" to which reference is made is reproduced on page 243 of "Priority! The Dating of Scientific Names in Ornithology" from Aves Press. The policy, here provided with firm evidence, had long been suspected but awaited proof. Here this was the missing element in determining which of two journals appeared first. This clarified that there is no choice of spelling, as might apply where there are dual original spellings, but a straightforward application of the Principle of Priority (Art. 23; ICZN Code, 1999).”


Comments from Zimmer: “YES”, on the basis of priority.”


Comments from Nores: “YES. There seems to be no doubt that aline has priority, especially because the Vol. 5 of Annales…Lyon contains summary of a meeting held on 27 January 1843, while the December issue of the Revue Zoologique is known to be in existence 23 January 1843 (David and Peterson 2010).”


Comments from Stiles: “YES, if reluctantly. The names appeared on plates as ”La Julie”, “Le Mulsant” and “La Aline”, in the edition before the formal descriptions, in which the names were given as juliae, mulsanti and alinae by Bourcier, the describer (and he apparently used the latter forms thereafter in other publications).  I suppose that these could qualify as an author’s emendation, or in its defect, one might consider the first batch as nomina nudae as names published without a description – but if priority of appearance is the sole criterion, then the first batch of names must stand.”


Comments from Pacheco: “YES.  A prioridade de ‘aline’ a partir das evidências reunidas pelos autores é convincente.”


Comments from Jaramillo: “YES – Given the referenced paper has been accepted and has lacked strong opposition, I go with the yes camp. However, Gary makes some good points.”