Elf Owl / Micrathene whitneyi

Elf Owl / Micrathene whitneyi

Elf Owl

SCI Name:  Micrathene whitneyi
Protonym:  Athene whitneyi Proc.Cal.Acad.Sci.(1), 2 p.118
Category:  Strigiformes / Strigidae /
Taxonomy Code:  elfowl
Type Locality:  Fort Mojave, Arizona.
Author:  
Publish Year:  1861
IUCN Status:  

DEFINITIONS

MICRATHENE
(Strigidae; Ϯ Elf Owl M. whitneyi) Gr. μικρος mikros  little; genus Athene Boie, 1822, owl; "MICRATHENE Coues, nov. gen.   ...   Of small size, being among the most diminutive of known Owls.  TYPE. Athene Whitneyi, Cooper.  With the size and general aspect of Glaucidium, this genus differs greatly from it as follows: The bill is smaller, weaker, less strongly hooked and dentulated.  The wings are much longer, and the tail much shorter.  The tarsus is unfeathered except for a short space superiorly.  The claws are so small and weak as to be hardly more than insessorial rather than raptorial in character.  The proportions of the tarsus and toes differ decidedly.  Nor has it much in common with Athene, except the partially denuded tarsi; the relative proportions of the tarsus and toes to each other being quite different in the two genera; Athene having the middle toe and claw about two thirds the tarsus, instead of fully as long.  The claws of Athene are very long, acute and little curved.  While both genera are very long winged, there is a decided difference in the shape of the wing; that of Athene being much the most pointed, in consequence of the greater elongation of the first and second primaries.  I think it more than probable that Micrathene is a truly arboreal genus, like Glaucidium, thus differing radically in its habits from the species of Athene." (Coues 1866).
Synon. Micropallas.

whitneyi
● Gertrude Whitney née Vanderbilt (1877-1942) US sculptress, patroness of the arts (syn. Ardenna pacifica).
● Harry Payne Whitney (1872-1930) US philanthropist who sponsored a series of expeditions to the Pacific 1921-1922 for AMNH (Megalurulus, subsp. Myiagra castaneigularis, syn. Pachycephala melanura x P. orioloides (according to Mathews 1930, p. 666, this form was named for Whitney I., Solomon Is., but the original description refers neither to a type nor its habitat), Pomarea, subsp. Turdus poliocephalus).
● Prof. Josiah Dwight Whitney (1819-1896) US geologist, explorer (Micrathene).
● Bret Meyers Whitney (b. 1955) US ornithologist (Scytalopus, syn. Synallaxis cinerea).

SUBSPECIES

Elf Owl (whitneyi)
SCI Name: Micrathene whitneyi whitneyi
whitneyi
● Gertrude Whitney née Vanderbilt (1877-1942) US sculptress, patroness of the arts (syn. Ardenna pacifica).
● Harry Payne Whitney (1872-1930) US philanthropist who sponsored a series of expeditions to the Pacific 1921-1922 for AMNH (Megalurulus, subsp. Myiagra castaneigularis, syn. Pachycephala melanura x P. orioloides (according to Mathews 1930, p. 666, this form was named for Whitney I., Solomon Is., but the original description refers neither to a type nor its habitat), Pomarea, subsp. Turdus poliocephalus).
● Prof. Josiah Dwight Whitney (1819-1896) US geologist, explorer (Micrathene).
● Bret Meyers Whitney (b. 1955) US ornithologist (Scytalopus, syn. Synallaxis cinerea).

Elf Owl (idonea)
SCI Name: Micrathene whitneyi idonea
idonea / idoneus
L. idoneus  suitable, appropriate.

Elf Owl (sanfordi)
SCI Name: Micrathene whitneyi sanfordi
sanfordi
Dr Leonard Cutler Sanford (1868-1950) US zoologist, Trustee of AMNH, organised Whitney-Sanford South Pacific expeditions, sponsor of AMNH Mt Hagen Expedition (subsp. Archboldia papuensis, subsp. Asio flammeus, syn. Cinnyrorhyncha longirostra, subsp. Crateroscelis robusta, Cyornis, Diomedea, subsp. Erythrura trichroa, Haliaeetus, subsp. Lagopus muta, subsp. Micrathene whitneyi, subsp. Mino kreffti, subsp. Myzomela cardinalis, subsp. Pachycephala orioloides, syn. Perisoreus canadensis nigricapillus, subsp. Rhabdotorrhinus exarhatus, syn. Rhamphomantis megarhynchus).

Elf Owl (graysoni)
SCI Name: Micrathene whitneyi graysoni
graysoni / graysonii
Col. Andrew Jackson Grayson (1819-1869) US Army, ornithologist, bird artist, collector in Mexico 1859-1869 (Amazilia, subsp. Colinus virginianus, subsp. Dryobates scalaris, Icterus, ‡subsp. Micrathene whitneyi, Mimus, subsp. Quiscalus mexicanus, Setophaga, subsp. Turdus rufopalliatus, Zenaida).