Moluccan Starling / Aplonis mysolensis

Moluccan Starling / Aplonis mysolensis

Moluccan Starling

SCI Name:  Aplonis mysolensis
Protonym:  Calornis mysolensis Proc.Zool.Soc.London(1861) (1861), Pt3 p.431
Taxonomy:  Passeriformes / Sturnidae /
Taxonomy Code:  molsta1
Type Locality:  Misol.
Publish Year:  1862
IUCN Status:  


(Sturnidae; Ϯ Norfolk Starling A. fusca) Gr. ἁπλοος haploos  simple, plain; ορνις ornis, ορνιθος ornithos  bird; “AT a meeting at the Society's Rooms, Leicester Square, Mr. Gould, after making some remarks on various birds which were on the table, entered into a description of a new genus of birds, for which he proposed the name of Aplornis, on account of its simple structure. This genus, Mr. Gould observed, partakes of the characters of the genera Lamprotornis, Lanius, and Turdus; we will, however, endeavour to give an idea of of its distinguishing characters by comparing it with with the genus Lamprotornis. When thus compared, Mr. G. remarked that the species of Aplornis are altogether of a more robust form: the beak, which is distinctly notched, the wings, the legs, and the tail, are shorter in proportion; the latter is slightly forked. It may also be distinguished by the want of the splendid colouring so remarkable in Lamprotornis, all the species of which, it will be remembered, are of a beautiful rich green colour, with a satin-like gloss. There were two species of this new genus on the table, both belonging to the society; one from New Holland, and the other from the Friendly Islands.” (Gould, 1836, The Analyst, XVII, p. 152); "Mr. Gould exhibited specimens of two new species of Birds from the Friendly Islands and New Holland, of which he proposed to form a genus. He stated them to approximate, in his opinion, in nearly an equal degree to the genera Lanius, Turdus, and Lamprotornis; but believed that they might with propriety be arranged among the Thrushes. Their characters were given as follows:  APLONIS.  ...   In both species the feathers of the head are lanceolate; and the general plumage above has a slight glossy hue, especially on the head and back of the neck" (Gould, 1836, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, IV, p. 73); "APLONIS  ...  According to Mathews (Ibis, 1942, p. 342) this name, spelled Aplornis, was first proposed in the "Analyst" for Oct. 1, 1836 [not seen], by an anonymous reviewer of Gould's forthcoming description. Even if this citation must stand, the spelling Aplonis may be retained on the ground that Aplornis was a slip of the pen for Aplonis. Gould used the latter spelling in all his publications. He treated the genus as feminine and I have followed this usage." (Amadon in Peters 1962, XV, 75); "APLONIS Gould, 1836 F — Aplonis fusca Gould, 1836; type by subsequent designation (G. R. Gray, 1840, A List of the Genera of Birds, p. 40)." (Dickinson & Christidis (eds.), H. & M. Complete Checklist, 4th ed., 2014, 2 (Passerines), p. 581). Bruce & McAllan 1990, state that Gould’s description of Aplornis in The Analyst was published about two weeks before his description of Aplonis in the Proceedings (see above). They recommend the use of Aplornis (“has been used at least three times in the last 50 years”), but, following Schodde et al. 2007, and by reason of recent majority usage (e.g., Mayr 1941, Baker 1951, Ripley 1961, Mayr & Greenway (ed.) 1962, Rand & Gilliard 1967, Ali & Ripley 1972, Schodde 1975, White & Bruce 1986, Sibley & Monroe 1990, Christidis & Boles 1994, Feare & Craig 1998, Mayr & Diamond, 2001, Dickinson (ed.) 2003, Higgins et al. (eds.) 2006b, Dickinson & Christidis (eds.) 2014, Winkler et al. 2015, Beehler & Pratt 2016, del Hoyo & Collar 2016, Thibault & Cibois 2017), in the interests of stability it is better to retain Aplonis (contra Christidis & Boles 2008). It is astonishing that such a simple name, of obvious etymons, should have caused this turmoil in the rarefied world of nomenclature.  Beehler & Pratt 2016 state that the generic spelling Aplonis is now conserved (ICZN Opinion 2285).
Var. Aplornis.
Synon. Calornis, Kittlitzia, Lamprocorax, Macruropsar, Metallopsar, Psaroides, Rhinopsar, Santaplonis, Sturnoides.

Mysol / Misol / Misool I., Dutch New Guinea / Rajah Ampat Is., West Papua, Indonesia.


Moluccan Starling (sulaensis)
SCI Name: Aplonis mysolensis sulaensis
sulaense / sulaensis / sulana / sulanus
Sula Is., Moluccas, Indonesia.

Moluccan Starling (mysolensis)
SCI Name: Aplonis mysolensis mysolensis
Mysol / Misol / Misool I., Dutch New Guinea / Rajah Ampat Is., West Papua, Indonesia.