Shoebill / Balaeniceps rex

Shoebill / Balaeniceps rex


SCI Name:  Balaeniceps rex
Protonym:  Balaeniceps Rex Athenaeum no.1207 p.1315
Taxonomy:  Pelecaniformes / Balaenicipitidae /
Taxonomy Code:  shoebi1
Type Locality:  upper White Nile.
Publish Year:  1850
IUCN Status:  


(Balaenicipitidae; Ϯ Shoebill B. rex) L. balaena  whale  < Gr. φαλαινα phalaina  whale; -ceps  -headed  < caput, capitis  head; the bizarre Shoebill or Whale-headed Stork preys to a great extent on catfish and lungfish; "Mr. Gould exhibited and described a new form in birds obtained from the interior of Africa, by Masfield Parkyns, Esq., Balæniceps rex is a stock [sic] with a perfectly anomalous beak of immense power, somewhat resembling that of Cancroma, while in stature it nearly equals the Maraboa and Adjutant" (Gould 1850); "I have the pleasure of introducing to the notice of the Society on the present occasion the most extraordinary bird I have seen for many years  ...  For this bird I propose the generic name of BALÆNICEPS, with the following characters: -  Bill enormously robust, equal in breadth and depth; sides of the upper mandible much swollen; culmen slightly elevated, depressed in the middle of its length, and terminating at the point in a very powerful hook; tomiæ sharp, turning inwards and very convex; lower mandible very powerful, with a sharp concave cutting edge and a truncated tip  ...  head very large  ...  BALÆNICEPS REX" (Gould 1852); "Balæniceps Gould, Proc. Zoöl. Soc. London, 1851 (1852), p. 1. Type, by original designation, Balæniceps rex Gould." (Peters, 1931, I, p. 125). 
Var. Balaniceps.

L. rex, regis  king  < regere  to rule (e.g. larger, crowned, with more colourful or regal plumage).
● ex “Roi des Oiseaux de Paradis” of Sonnerat 1776 (syn. Cicinnurus regius).
● ex “Roi des fourmiliers de Cayenne” of d’Aubenton 1765-1781, pl. 702, and “King Thrush” of Latham 1783 (syn. Grallaria varia).
● ex “Perroquet Lori Radhia” of Levaillant 1801-1805 (syn. Lorius domicella).
● King I., Bass Strait, Australia (syn. Pardalotus quadragintus, subsp. Phylidonyris pyrrhoptera).
● Carlos Fernando Francisco de Assis de Bragança Sabóia Bourbon y Sajonia-Coburgo-Gotha Duque de Bragança and King of Portugal (1863-1908; reigned 1889-1908 assassinated) (subsp. Stactolaema anchietae).

(syn. Regulus Ϯ Goldcrest R. regulus) L. rex, regis  king  < regere  to rule. This is probably only a substantive name (see Regaliolus).