Protonym: Merulaxis senilis Rev.Zool. 3 p.103
Taxonomy: Passeriformes / Rhinocryptidae / Myornis
Taxonomy Code: asctap1
Type Locality: Bogota.
Publish Year: 1840
IUCN Status: Least Concern
(Rhinocryptidae; Ϯ Ash-coloured Tapaculo M. senilis) Gr. μυς mus, μυος muos mouse; ορνις ornis, ορνιθος ornithos bird; "The species of the genus Scytalopus are small, black, slaty or brownish wren-like birds of mouse-like habits. Most of them live in dense undergrowth or fallen tree-tops in the forests of the Subtropical and Temperate Zones of the Andes where haunt, habit, color and size make them exceedingly inconspicuous in life and all but invisible in death. At best they can be seen only when one is within a comparatively few yards of them, and the collector who is not properly equipped with a small gauge gun or auxiliary barrel blows into fragments more specimens than he secures. Even after a successful shot in the luxuriant, dark, cloud forest of the Subtropical Zone it usually requires the most minute, painstaking search, guided by mark of shot here and a stray feather there, to find the fallen bird; while in the more open Temperate Zone forests I have had a specimen slip from my hand to be hopelessly lost in the mass of fallen limbs and undergrowth which, in places, like mossgrown brush-heaps, accumulate beneath the trees. The native collector, armed with blow-gun, such as many of them in the Bogotá region of Colombia still use, gets comparatively few specimens of birds as difficult to collect as Scytalopus. ... I append now my notes on the species studied, after first removing from Scytalopus the species heretofore known as Scytalopus senilis (Lafr.) for which I propose the genus Myornis gen. nov. ... Type.—Scytalopus senilis (Lafr.) ... The species heretofore known as Scytalopus senilis (Lafr.) is obviously not congeneric with Scytalopus magellanicus (Gmel.), the type of the genus Scytalopus Gould, or with any other species of the genus known to me. Its laterally compressed and elevated, angular mesorhinium is shown in a slight degree by S. sylvestris and more pronouncedly by S. latebricola, but its rounded wings in connection with its lengthened tail is a feature not possessed by any species of Scytalopus and it is this combination of characters of bill, wings, and tail which appear to warrant its generic distinction." (Chapman 1915).
L. senilis of an old man, senile (i.e. white-haired, hoary) < senex, senis old person.
UPPERCASE: current genus
Uppercase first letter: generic synonym
● and ● See: generic homonyms
lowercase: species and subspecies
●: early names, variants, mispellings
†: type species
Gr.: ancient Greek
<: derived from
syn: synonym of
/: separates historical and modern geographic names
ex: based on
TL: type locality
OD: original diagnosis (genus) or original description (species)