Protonym: Hydrochelidon albistriata Voy.ErebusTerror 1 Birds p.19 pl.21
Taxonomy: Charadriiformes / Laridae / Chlidonias
Taxonomy Code: blfter1
Type Locality: New Zealand.
Author: Gray, GR
Publish Year: 1845
IUCN Status: Endangered
(Laridae; Ϯ Black Tern C. niger surinamensis) Curtailment of Gr. χελιδονιος khelidonios swallow-like < χελιδων khelidōn, χελιδονος khelidonos swallow (alluding to the supposed lack of a hind toe (see Turnix)) (cf. Gr. χλιδαω khlidaō to be delicate); "The tern or Sea-Swallow may be called the black-headed Tern; I have given it the scientific name of Sterna melanops, which implies the same thing. This Tern was nine inches long from the tip of the bill to the end of the tail, and the dimension of the extended wings was 21 inches. It was of an ash color above, and white beneath with the head, neck and feet blackish. The bill was of a lead color, one inch long, compressed and sharp. The feet had three half-webbed toes, and none behind. The tail was long and forked, white beneath. This bird is totally different from all the known Terns, and might even perhaps be considered as a new genus, by its long, compressed bill, toes only half-webbed, and want of a hind toe, to which the name of CHLIDONIAS MELANOPS might be applied. It was shot in June 1821, near Harrodsburg, and was preserved by Dr. Graham, in whose possession I saw it." (Rafinesque 1822 per Rhoads 1912); "Chlidonias Rafinesque, Kentucky Gazette, n. s., 1, no. 8, 21 Feb., 1822, p. 3, col. 5. Type, by monotypy, Sterna melanops Rafinesque = Sterna surinamensis Gmelin." (Peters, 1934, II, p. 327).
Var. Chlidornis (Gr. ορνις ornis, ορνιθος ornithos bird).
Synon. Hydrocecropis, Hydrochelidon, Pelodes, Viralva.
L. albus white; striatus striated < striare to striate < stria furrow.
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)