Proposal (66) to South American Classification Committee


Change English name of Myioborus cardonai


Effect on South American CL: This proposal would change the English name of a species on our list from a "Meyer de Schauensee" name ("Saffron-breasted Redstart") to a "Ridgely-Tudor" name ("Guaiquinima Redstart").


Background: Meyer de Schauensee (1966, 1970) and Meyer de Schauensee & Phelps (1978) used the English name "Saffron-breasted Redstart" for Myioborus cardonai. [The species was not described until after Hellmayr (1935)]. Sibley & Monroe (1990) also used "Saffron-breasted."


Ridgely & Tudor (1989) coined "Guaiquinima Redstart" for Myioborus cardonai, with the following note:


"As M. cardonai's breast is the same color as that of albifacies and castaneocapillus duidae, it seems misleading to imply that it is different by calling it "Saffron-breasted" (in any case, the color is not exactly saffron); far better, we believe, to stress the extremely limited distribution by calling it the Guaiquinima Redstart."


This was followed by Curson et al. (1994) and Hilty (2003), but also with the further change to "Whitestart."


Analysis: Bob's name is "better" and is in use in the book that will be used in the country to which M. cardonai is endemic. The other name is older.


Recommendation: I reluctantly vote "NO" on this proposal because my basic philosophy is "just live with" old, bad names for sake of stability unless highly misleading. Although I have heard others complain about "Guaiquinima" as being "too difficult" to pronounce and too obscure an area, I personally like the ring of it and like it that it makes people learn where this area is. If we were "starting from scratch," I'd definitely vote for "Guaiquinima."


Literature Cited:

CURSON, J., D. QUINN, AND D. BEADLE. 1994. Warblers of the Americas. Houghton Mifflin.

HILTY, S. L. 2003. Birds of Venezuela. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

MEYER DE SCHAUENSEE, R. 1966. The species of birds of South America and their distribution. Livingston Publishing Co., Narberth, Pennsylvania.

MEYER DE SCHAUENSEE, R. 1970. A guide to the birds of South America. Livingston Publishing Co., Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.\

MEYER DE SCHAUENSEE, R., AND W. H. PHELPS. 1978. A guide to the birds of Venezuela. Princeton.

RIDGELY, R. S., AND G. TUDOR. 1989. The birds of South America, vol. 1. Univ. Texas Press, Austin.

SIBLEY, C. G., AND B. L. MONROE, JR. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.


Van Remsen, October 2003



Comments from Robbins: "The proposed new name conveys more accurate information than Meyer de Schauensee's name. I vote "yes" for using Guaiquinima Whitestart for M. cardonai."


Comments from Schulenberg: "My vote is NO. This may be a moot point anyway. I haven't digested Jorge Perez's section on the Tepui taxa (so don't count on my for any proposals regarding this), but his data seems to suggest either that cardonai is part of castaneocapillus, or that maguirei and cardonai be combined as a species separate from nominate castaneocapillus."


Comments from Jaramillo: "YES ­ Same reasoning as for proposal 65."


Comments from Zimmer: "I vote "YES" for the same reasons outlined in my response to Proposal #65."


Comments from Stiles: "YES, same reasoning [as in Prop 65].


Comments from Nores: "NO. Aunque el problema es similar al anterior el hecho de que haya otras especies con "saffron-breasted" no significa que esta especie no lo tenga. Si seguimos este criterio habría que cambiar los nombres a todas las especies que tengan un color similar a la que lleva el nombre. Por ejemplo, Rufous-rumped Seedeater, Red-capped Cardinal, Red-rumped Cacique, and Yellow-rumped Cacique."