Nicobar Scops-Owl / Otus alius
Protonym: Otus alius Bull.Br.Orn.Club 118 p.143-151 pl.3
Taxonomy: Strigiformes / Strigidae / Otus
Taxonomy Code: nicsco1
Publish Year: 1998
IUCN Status: Near Threatened
(Strigidae; Ϯ Indian Scops Owl O. bakkamoena) L. otus small eared owl < Gr. ωτος ōtos eared owl; "III. OTUS BAKKAMOENA. The Little Horn Owl. THIS elegant species is found in Ceylon, is called there Bakkamoena, and is a scarce species even in that island. It is represented of its natural size. The irides are scarlet: the horns take their origin from the base of the bill, and point to the sides of the head: on their inner side they are dusky, on their exterior white. The bill is dusky, surrounded with long bristles: the circle of feathers round the eyes is of a very pale ash-color: the external circle of a yellowish brown. The head of a deep ash-color: the back dusky: coverts of the wings grey, marked with narrow lines of black, pointing downwards: the quil feathers regularly barred with black and white: the breast buff-colored, marked with small sagittal black spots: the legs feathered half way down: the naked part of a reddish yellow." (Pennant 1769); "Otus Pennant, Indian Zool., 1769, p. 3. Type, by monotypy, Otus bakkamoena Pennant." (Peters 1940, IV, 86).
Synon. Acnemis, Athenoptera, Ephialtes, Gymnoscops, Heteroscops, Lempijius, Pisorhina, Scops, Scototheres, Zorca.
L. otus eared owl < Gr. ωτος ōtos eared owl; "42. STRIX. ... Otus. 4. S. capite auriculato pennis senis. Faun. svec. 47. Otus s. Asio. Bell. av. 25. 6. Aldr. orn. 1. 8. c. 3. Will. ornith. 64. t. 12. Raj. av. 25. Frisch. av. t. 99. Alb. av. 2.. p. 10. t. 10. Habitat in Europa. Cristæ auritæ albidæ fasciis sex fuscis." (Linnaeus 1758) (Asio).
L. alius other, another.
● “The name alius, which is Latin for ‘other’ (this being another Scops-owl from the Nicobar Islands), encapsulates the family name of Mr Humayun Abdulali [1914-2001], who first collected this species, and contributed a great deal to Indian ornithology, and in particular that of the Andaman and Nicobar islands” (Rasmussen 1998) (Otus).
● "I find that birds from west of the Rift Valley (true jacksoni) are clearly separable from those from the east of it. As no name appears to be available for the eastern form, I propose to name it Pogoniulus bilineatus alius subsp. nov. ... Similar to P. b. jacksoni but somewhat smaller ... and darker below, more grayish on the throat and breast, less clear greenish yellow on the abdomen." (Friedmann 1930) (syn. Pogoniulus bilineatus jacksoni).
● "Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps alius, subsp. nov. ... Similar to Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps ochraceiceps, but the tail darker above, the black area at the tip more extensive and extending further towards the base of the feathers; the tail beneath even has the black more extensive, very little brown showing except at the base and a narrow border at the tip. ... Dr. Rock only took the single specimen." (Riley 1940) (subsp. Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps).
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)