Proposal (678) to South American Classification Committee


The correct spelling of the name for Dives warszewiczi is Dives warczewiczi



Background: In December 2011, I pointed out to Edward Dickinson that in “The Internet IBC Bird Collection” HBW 16: 778 (see Hilty 2011), Dives warszewiczi was spelled as Dives warczewiczi.


This name was used to honor Josef Ritter von Rawiez Warszewicz.  Thus, any scientific name honoring him should theoretically be spelled “warszewiczi.”


Two birds were named after him: Dives warszewiczi as Lampropsar warczewiczi (sic) Cabanis, Journ. Orn., 9, p. 83, 1861 (the “sic” was added by Hellmayr [1937] and Blake [1968] in their publications), and Amazilia saucerrottei warscewiczi [now Saucerottia saucerrottei warscewiczi] as Hemithylaca Warscewiczi Cabanis and Heine, Mus. Hein., Th. 3,1860, p. 38.  H. G. Reichenbach consistently misspelled Warszewicz’s name as Warscewicz or Warczewicz (Wikipedia).  The names warscewicz and warczewicz has been used in over 100 plant species under different endings (i.e. Hippeastrum warscewiczianum, Philodendron warszewiczii, Salvia warszewicziana.)


In Corrigenda 7 [dated 17-Dec-07] of Dickinson (2003), the name was changed to Dives warczewiczi stating: “Dives warczewiczi: spelling, not warszewiczi [OD (original document) examined]; change species and subspecific name.”  However, application of rules of the Code makes it evident that warczewiczi should be the correct name despite the misspelling of the person’s name.  Does the Code allow to make emendations on obvious errors of spelling of names?  In this case both bird species above had Cabanis as an author and so it is doubly difficult to accept the wrong incorrect variation spelling.  Do we maintain two different spellings of the name neither of which is the proper spelling of the name?


Commentary: Dickinson requested the expertise of Norman David on the above name and the name of another species.  Norman David replied:


warczewiczi Cabanis 1861

Here the original spelling is very correct since the original work contains Warczewicz.  …. The fact that "Warczewicz" may be 'erroneous' is totally irrelevant.”


“When fixing the spelling of a name, only two works are to be consulted: the original work and the Code.  This may lead to two or even three code-compliant different spellings for the same person.”


In February 2015, upon checking Dickinson and Christidis (2014), I pointed out to Van Remsen that in SACC the correct original spelling should be Dives warczewiczi and not warscewiczi (H&M 4 (2): 377.


Remsen requested the opinion of Vitor Piacentini who stated:


Regarding the warczewiczi case, I totally agree with Norman David - the original spelling was indeed correct, so I see no way to justify any subsequent change in spelling.”


Recommendation: Based on the above comments by Norman David and Vitor Piacentini a decision must be made on whether to change Dives warszewiczi to Dives warczewiczi.  Zoonomen and IOC World Bird List 4.4 with subsequent updates have already changed to warczewiczi.  A YES vote is recommended.


Literature Cited:


Blake, E. R.  1968.  Family Icteridae. In Check-list of birds of the World (R. A. Paynter, Jr., Ed.). Parulidae, Drepanididae, Vireonidae, Icteridae, Fringillinae, Carduelinae, Estrildidae, Viduinae. Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 14: 138-202.


Cabanis, J.  1861.  Uebersicht der im Berliner Museum befindlichen Vögel von Costa Rica Vom Herausgeber. Journal für Ornithologie, 9: 81-96.


Cabanis, J., and F. Heine.  1860.  Museum Heineanum. Verzeichniss der ornithologischen Sammlung des Oberamtmann Ferdinand Heine auf Gut St. Burchard vor Halberstadt. Mit kritischen Anmerkungen und Beschreibung der neuen Arten systematisch bearbeitet.  R. Frantz, Halberstadt, 3: 1-220.


Dickinson, E. C. (Ed.).  2003.  The Howard and Moore complete checklist of the birds of the World. 3rd Edition. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, pp. 1-1039.


Dickinson, E. C., and L. Christidis (Eds.).  2014.  The Howard and Moore complete checklist of the birds of the World. 4th Edition. Aves Press, Eastbourne, United Kingdom, Volume 2, Passerines, pp. lii, 1-752.


Hellmayr, C. E.  1937.  Catalogue of birds of the Americas and the adjacent islands in Field Museum.  Part X.  Icteridae. Field Museum of Natural History, Zoological Series, 13: i-v, 1-228.


Hilty, S.  2011.  Family Thraupidae (Tanagers). In Handbook of the birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, and D. Christie, Eds.). Tanagers to New World Blackbirds. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona [Spain], 16: 46-329.



Manuel Plenge, July 2015




Comments from Zimmer: “YES, for reasons stated in the proposal.”


Comments from Stiles: “YES. Given the expert opinions on this, warcewiczi must stand.”


Comments from Pacheco: “YES. In accordance with the technical opinion of Norman and Vitor.”


Comments from Robbins: “YES.  Let’s make a name that was all ready not easy to spell to one even more confusing.  A case where the English name is the way to go!”