Proposal (836) to South American Classification Committee



Replace the genus name Islerothraupis with its senior synonym Loriotus


In a recent proposal (730.05), SACC approved to recognize new genus Islerothraupis for Tachyphonus cristatus, T. luctuosus, and T. rufiventer. However, an older name is available for such a genus, and the case was dealt with by Piacentini et al. (2019). To summarize and explain the whole case, I’m copying here the first three paragraphs of our paper:

“In a revision of the generic classification of the tanagers, Burns et al. (2016) proposed the name Islerothraupis with type species Tanagra cristata Linnaeus, 1766 (long known as Tachyphonus cristatus); however, they overlooked a previous designation of that species as the type of a genus. In 1821, Feliks Pawel Jarocki, in the second volume of
Zoologiia czyli Zwiérzętopismo Ogólne podług Naynowszego Systematu ułożone ("Zoology, or general natural history account according to the newest arranged system"), page 133, specified Tanagra cristata as the type of a proposed subgenus Loriotus. The original text in Polish is available at the website, the Digital Repository of Scientific Institutes, which has made a wide diversity of scholarship in Polish available over the Internet. The original description of Loriotus, in parallel with other names Jarocki introduced in his Zoologiia, is minimal: “Dziób ostro kończysty, cokolwiek zgięty. Żuchwy sczęki spodniey przy nasadzie bardzo mało zgrubiałe.” (Bill ending in a point, somewhat curved. Lower mandible slightly thickened at base.)


Nevertheless, it complies with the rules for a new genus-group name proposed before 1931 and is therefore available (ICZN 1999: articles 11 and 12). In fact, several other genera and subgenera introduced by Jarocki in the same book, such as Remiz, Phoeniculus, Crinifer, and Vestiaria, have been in continuous use as genera since Mathews & Iredale (1918) called attention to Jarocki’s long-overlooked work, advanced for its time. The ICZN (1966) has suppressed one of Jarocki’s names, Cardinalis (type species Tanagra rubra “GL” = Fringilla rubra Linnaeus, 1758, long known as Piranga rubra), but this action was not based on any nomenclatural problem in Jarocki’s work; rather it allowed for reinstatement of the younger name Cardinalis Bonaparte, 1838 as the genus for Loxia cardinalis Linnaeus, 1758, the Northern Cardinal.


Unlike the long-accustomed name Cardinalis for the cardinals, Islerothraupis has no history of wide usage, and so we recommend that it be treated as a junior objective synonym of Loriotus Jarocki, 1821.  Accordingly, the three species we had included in Islerothraupis, Tanagra cristata Linnaeus, Tachyphonus luctuosus d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, and Tanagra rufiventer Spix, should be known as Loriotus cristatus, Loriotus luctuosus, and Loriotus rufiventer, respectively.  Loriotus should be regarded as masculine in gender, in agreement with its Latinized form.”

Based on the ICZN, I don’t see any option rather than adopt the name Loriotus, which has clear priority, so I recommend a Yes vote.




Bonaparte, C. L. (1838) A geographical and comparative list of the birds of Europe and North America. J. van Voorst, London, 68 pp.


Burns, K. J., Unitt, P., & Mason, N. A. (2016) A genus-level classification of the family Thraupidae (Class Aves: Order Passeriformes). Zootaxa, 4088 (3), 329–354.


ICZN [International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature] (1966) Opinion 784. Cardinalis Bonaparte, 1838 (Aves): Validated under the plenary power. Bulletin of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 23, 201–203.


ICZN [International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature] (1999) International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, fourth edition. International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London, 306 pp.


Jarocki, F. P. (1821) Zoologiia czyli Zwiérzętopismo Ogólne Podług Naynowszego Systematu Ułożone. Łątkiewicz, Warsaw, 319 pp.


Mathews, G. M, & Iredale, T. (1918) A forgotten ornithologist. Austral Avian Record, 3, 142–150.


Piacentini, V.Q.; Unitt, P. & Burns, K.J. (2019) Two overlooked generic synonyms in the Thraupidae (Aves: Passeriformes). Zootaxa 4608: 593-594.

Vitor de Q. Piacentini, May 2019




Comments from Stiles: “YES, the priority is indisputable, especially because various of Jarocki’s names have been widely accepted. (For curiosity, what was the case with the “other generic synonym”?).”


Comments from Claramunt: “YES. Since the issue has been raised, the Code does not give room for alternatives.  Islerothraupis is too young to take precedence over Loriotus.”


Comments from Zimmer: “YES”, due to clear priority.”


Comments from Areta: “YES, based on the principle of priority. It remains to be seen what SACC will do with Rauenia (for “Pipraeidea” bonariensis). I would certainly endorse Rauenia for it.”


Comments from Bonaccorso: “YES, priority rules. However, it would be interesting if people that describe new supra-specific taxa (many of whom are not taxonomists, but evolutionary biologists) had the chance to consult SACC (through their taxonomy experts) before naming those taxa. Many people were probably already getting used to Islerothraupis, which generates a lot of instability.”


Comments from Stotz: “YES.  This appears to be a straightforward switch to an overlooked generic name with priority.”


Comments from Pacheco: “YES. A perfectly justified exchange concerning ICZN rules.”


Comments from Jaramillo: “YES. Due to priority. I think in this case it is clear cut, Islerothraupis cannot be used.”