Black-backed Bittern / Ixobrychus dubius

Black-backed Bittern / Ixobrychus dubius

Black-backed Bittern

SCI Name:  Ixobrychus dubius
Protonym:  Ixobrychus minutus dubius Novit.Zool. 18 p.234
Taxonomy:  Pelecaniformes / Ardeidae /
Taxonomy Code:  bkbbit1
Type Locality:  Herdman''s Lake, southwestern Australia.
Publish Year:  1912
IUCN Status:  


(Ardeidae; Ϯ Little Bittern I. minutus) Gr. ιξιας ixias  reed-like plant (cf. ιξος ixos  mistletoe); βρυχομαι brukhomai  to bellow (cf. βρυχω brukhō  to gnash the teeth); "G. 74. IXOBRYCHUS **), Sv. Rördrom.   1. minutus:  ...  Nidificat in arundinetis, et ova 5-6 alba ponir. Timidus clamat: gäck, gäck, gäck, gäck!  ...  2. stellaris:  ...  Hab. in locis paludosis arundinetis, passim  ...  Volitans alte clamat, fere ut Corvus: kroah! in terra vero mas murmurat sona violente; huh, huh ter sexies.  ...  ** Hab. genere fere Ardeæ; sed collo plus minusve crassiore femoribusque plerumque parum nudis.  N. gen. e graecis vocis Iξος arundo, et βρυχω fremo desumtum." (Billberg 1828); "Ixobrychus Billberg, Syn. Faun. Scand., 1, pt. 2, 1828, p. 166. Type, by subsequent designation, Ardea minuta Linné. (Stone, Auk, 24, 1907, p. 192.)" (Peters 1931, I, 120).   
Synon. Ardeiralla, Ardetta, Dupetor, Erodiscus, Erythrophoyx, Nannocnus, Xanthocnus.

dubium / dubius
L. dubius  doubtful, uncertain, dubious  < duo  two; habere  to have.
• "ACANTHORHYNCHUS DUBIUS, Gould.  ...  Remark. Although I have given the name of dubius to this species on account of his close resemblance to Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris, I have but little doubt that it will ultimately prove to be distinct.   Habitat. Australia: locality, Van Diemen's Land." (Gould 1837) (subsp. Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris).
• "Aegotheles dubius n. sp.  ...  Ich würde diesen Vogel, der mir in zwei Exemplaren vorliegt, zu Aegotheles Wallacii Gray (Proc. Zool. Soc. 1859, S. 154 stellen, falls die dort gegebene durchaus ungenügende Beschreibung mich dazu berechtigte." (Meyer 1874) (syn. Aegotheles albertisi).
• ex “Japú negro y amarillo” of de Azara 1802-1805, no. 59 (syn. Cacicus chrysopterus).
• "158.  Carpodacus dubius, nov. sp.   Tab. XIII.   C. Thurae simillimus.  Mas abdomine medio albo; genis totis roseis; vitta superciliari argentea, postice candidissima.  Fem. uropygio ochraceo, fusco striato; vitta superciliari antice ochracea, postice alba." (Przhevalsky 1876) (subsp. Carpodacus thura).
• "81.  CHARADRIUS (dubius)  rectricibus nigris, apice albis.  Habitus Pluvialis, sed digitus posticus nullus.  Nigra sunt caput, fascia collaris & caudalis, rostrum, pedes.  Alba frons, iugulum, pectus, abdomen, femora apex caudae, fascia verticalis.   Ibid, p. 84.  Tab. 46." (Scopoli 1786); ex “Petit Pluvier à collier de l’isle de Luçon” of Sonnerat 1776, who doubted the specific distinctness of the Little Ringed Plover, considering it to be a barely separable example of the wide-ranging Ringed Plover whose plumage had been subtly altered by climatic influences (Charadrius).
• "46. RAMPHASTOS.   ...   dubius.  15. R. gula caerulea.  Blue throated Toucan.  Lath. syn. 1.I. p. 336. n. 14." (J. Gmelin 1788); "5. RAMPHASTOS DUBIUS, Gm. Syst. Nat. i. p. 357 (1788).  Blue-throated Toucan, Lath. Syn. i. p. 357 [sic = 336].  "In a list of birds in the Museum of Baron de Faugeres of Montpelier, I find one by the name of Toucan à gorge bleue, with this addition, 'Ce Toucan n'est decrit par aucun auteur.'  I do not find a Toucan with a blue throat mentioned by any writer, and must therefore, with him, conclude it to be a new species.  As it is but very lately that I have known this circumstance, it has not been in my power to say further on this head, resting the whole, for the present, on his opinion."  Latham [1781], as above, and in Gen. Hist. ii. p. 294, gives the same account of it, in substance.  I agree in allowing it to rest for the present, but should the original Baron or other be disposed to stir in the matter he can now be better accommodated." (Cassin 1867) (?syn. Eurystomus gularis).
• "12.  Heliangelus dubius sp. nov.   With the last-named specimen the Museum received an Heliangelus to which I give the name H. dubius.  ...  I admit that it is with some hesitation that I describe this bird, but if it is not separated nominally many other species would have to be sunk as synonyms, for example Heliotrypha violicollis Salv., which differs from H. strophianus in about the same characters as my H. dubius does from H. clarissae.  It is possible that Mons. Simon's theory that these darker forms are melanistic aberrations is right, but as yet we have no proof of it, and we do not know their proper locality, so that it will be better to give names to those at least of which several entirely similar specimens are known and which seem to be distinct enough.  This proceeding will more incite future research, and thus be of more advantage for the present than treating such peculiar forms with neglect." (Hartert 1897) (syn. Heliangelus clarisse (melanistic)).
• “MORPHINUS  DUBIUS.   ...   Obs. — In the above descriptions I am very doubtful if either the mature or young plumage be detailed, as a variety of circumstances concur to induce me to believe that both are examples of a plumage in a middle stage, only; that of the one being at least a year older than that of the other  ...  In consideration of its form and general character, I have placed it for the present in the Genus Morphinus, though I am not quite convinced but that a more extensive opportunity of studying and comparing its characters, habits, and anatomical structure, will point out its affinity and position to be elsewhere.” (A. Smith 1830) (syn. Hieraaetus ayresi).
• "Chætura dubia  new species.  (Pl. XII.)  ...  The few words, without measurements, in Catalogue of Birds, XVI, p. 476, scarcely apply to the Mindoro species for Hartert says of celebensis: "In size similar to C. gigantea," whereas C. dubia is decidedly larger than gigantea; Clarke's measurements of the Negros specimen certainly agree much better with our bird, but neither of these writers makes any mention of white wing lining in C. celebensis, a character very noticeable in C. dubia." (McGrgeor 1905) (syn. Hirundapus celebensis).
• "284. Ixobrychus minutus dubius subsp. n.   Western Little Bittern.  Mathews, Handlist No. 212 (pars).  Differs from I. m. pusillus in having the feathers of the back blackish-brown, with brown edges.  Type: South-West Australia, No. 675.  Range: South-West Australia." (Mathews 1912) (Ixobrychus).
• "84. ARDEA.   ...   dubia.  27. A. glauca, subtus sordide alba, rostro subtrigono.   Argill or Hargill. Ives it. p. 183.   Boorong Cambing or Booring-volar. Marsd. Sumatr. p. 98?   Gigantic Crane. Lath. syn. III. I. p. 45. n. 8   Habitat in India et Africa, gregatim ad ostia fluviorum, testaceis, amphibiis, avibus, mammalibus victitans, voracissima, docilis, facileque mansuescens, ad 7 pedes alta.” (J. Gmelin 1789); “The specific name argala is Latham’s, not Gmelin’s; but as Gmelin’s name dubia, though prior, implies an erroneous proposition, for the species is not dubious, Latham’s name may be allowed to stand” (Strickland 1841) (Leptoptilos).
• "Dr. Cabot read descriptions of three new species of Woodpecker, from Yucatan, viz:  Picus dubius, P. parvus and P. Yucatanensis, and exhibited the specimens." (Cabot 1844) (subsp. Melanerpes aurifrons).
• "Prazák trennte im Orn. Jahrb. 1895, p. 81 die persischen, Trauermeisen als besondere Subspecies ab und benannte sie Poecile lugubris persica.  ...  Die Gattung Parus bildet aber eine so natürlich geschlossene Gruppe, dass man von jeder generischen Spaltung absehen muss; der Prazák'sche Name ist daher unverwendbar, weil persicus von Blanford bereits für die persische Blaumeise gebraucht wurde, und schlage ich deshalb vor, die östliche Trauermeise Parus lugubris dubius zu nennen." (Hellmayr 1901) (subsp. Poecile lugubris).
• “16. DOUBTFUL BARBET  ...  This bird inhabits the Coasts of Barbary, and is of a doubtful genus.  Buffon places it between the Barbets and the Toucans, to both of which it seems to belong; however, it seems most to incline to the former; First, from its place of nativity, as no true Toucan is found throughout the old Continent; Secondly the tongue is fleshy, and not pennaceous, which last is one of the characteristics of the Toucan genus; And thirdly, the bristles which project from the base of the bill, added to the others, incline me to give it place in this chapter.” (Latham 1782); "56.  BUCCO.   ...   dubius.  16. B. niger, subtus ruber, fascia pectorali crissoque nigris.   Barbican. Buff. hist. nat. des ois 7. p. 132.   Barbican des cotes de Barbarie. Buff. pl. enlum. n. 602.   Doubtfull Barbet. Lath. syn. I. 2. p. 506. n. 16.   Habitat in maritimis Barbariae, 9 pollices longus, inter Ramphaston et Bucconem ambiguus, huic tamen patria, lingua carnosa, setisque basin rostri obsidentibus propior." (J. Gmelin 1788) (Pogonornis).
• "863.  Megalurus gramineus dubius subsp. n.   Southern Grass Bird.  Mathews, Handlist No. 553 (pars).   Differs from M. g. wilsoni in being much darker and more streaked on the throat.  Type: Mannam, South Australia, No. 6204." (Mathews 1915) (syn. Poodytes gramineus).
• "p. 137.  PSEPHOTELLUS PULCHERRIMUS DUBIUS, subsp. n.  Differs from P. p. pulcherrimus in being darker above.  Type, New South Wales." (Mathews 1915) (syn. Psephotellus pulcherrimus).
• "4. PYROCEPHALUS  DUBIUS.  Gould.   P. minor, lividus; fronte, superciliis corporeque subtus stramineis; tectricibus stramineo marginatis.  ...   From the appearance of this bird when alive, although closely resembling P. nanus, I entertained no doubt that it was a distinct species." (Gould 1839) (subsp. Pyrocephalus rubinus).
• "Proparus dubius, Hume.   Pro. A. S. B., May 1st, 1874.  ...  THIS last bird I described with some hesitation; it is a Leiotrichine form, allied to Minla and Proparus, but distinct from all known species, I believe, of this group.  My reason for doubt is this.  In some particulars it closely resembles Mr. Mandelli's Minla rufogularis, (STRAY FEATHERS, Vol. 1, p. 416), but is longer, has a smaller wing, entirely wants the rusty red throat, and the black and white bands continued over the forehead, which bands in our bird do not extend further forward than the middle of the eye.  In other respects Mr. Mandelli's description would apply fairly well.  Could it be that my bird is the female, rufogularis the male?" (Hume 1874) (Schoeniparus).
• "AVES PICÆ.   Lanius.   ...   5. L. dubius.   L. cinereus cauda cuneiformi, uropygio tectricibusque caudæ apice coccineo striatis.  Dubious Shrike, Gen. Syn. Sup. ii. p. 73. No. 11.   HABITATIO dubia: longit. poll. 8—rostrum & pedes flavi: cauda valde cuneata." (Latham 1802) (Scissirostrum).
• "Sericornis beccarii dubius, new subspecies.  ...  Adult male similar to S. b. minimus, but more brownish throughout, and with the facial pattern less defined.  ...  S. b. dubius is much too similar to minimus to be regarded anything but a subspecies." (Mayr 1937) (subsp. Sericornis beccarii).
• "9.  DYSITHAMNUS DUBIUS, sp. n.   D. schistaceo, d'Orb., simillimus, sed rostro longiore multo magis compresso, necnon rectricibus minus graduatis fere æqualibus, lateralium apicibus minime albo marginatis, distinguendus." (von Berlepsch & Sztolcman 1894) (syn. Thamnophilus schistaceus).
• "37. Parus dubius, the black-cap: this and the following were received by Vaillant from Ceylon.  They resemble in some respects the titmice; but he says do not properly belong to that genus.  ...  As these were dried specimens which Vaillant received, he can speak no further but upon conjecture.  ...  He describes and figures another individual, which he supposes to have been the female of this species, or at least a variety." (J. Wilkes 1821); ex “Cap Nègre” of Levaillant 1804, pl. 140, figs. 1-2 (unident.).