Short-tailed Starling / Aplonis minor

Short-tailed Starling / Aplonis minor

Short-tailed Starling

SCI Name:  Aplonis minor
Protonym:  L[amprotornis] minor Consp.Gen.Av. 1 p.417 ydP
Taxonomy:  Passeriformes / Sturnidae /
Taxonomy Code:  shtsta1
Type Locality:  Timor.
Publish Year:  1850
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.

L. minor  smaller  < comp. parvus  small. “Comparative names ... Specific names expressive of comparative size are also to be avoided, as they may be rendered inaccurate by the after-discovery of additional species. The names ... maximus, minor, minimus, etc. are examples of this objectionable practice” (Strickland Code 1842).
● ex “Short-eared Owl” of Pennant 1761 (syn. Asio flammeus).
● ex “Little Thrush” of Catesby 1731-1743, Edwards 1758-1764, Latham 1783, and Pennant 1785, “Turdus iliacus carolinensis” of Brisson 1760, and “Grivette de l’Amérique” of de Buffon 1770-1783 (syn. Catharus fuscescens).
● ex “Whip-poor-will” of Catesby 1731 (Chordeiles).
● ex “Coucou des palétuviers de Cayenne” of d’Aubenton 1765-1781, pl. 813, “Petit Vieillard” of de Buffon 1770-1783, and “Mangrove Cuckow” of Latham 1782 (Coccyzus).
● "54. PICUS.  ...  minor.  12. P. albo nigroque varius vertice rubro, ano albido.  Picus albo nigroque varius, rectricibus tribus lateralibus seminigris. Fn. svec. 83. Hasselqv. iter. 242.  Picus varius tertius. Raj. av. 43.  Picus varius minor. Alb. av. I. p. 20. t. 20.  Habitat in Europa.” (Linnaeus 1758) (Dryobates).
● ex “Fregata minor” of Brisson 1760, “Petite Frégate” of de Buffon 1770-1783, “Man of War Bird” of Edwards 1760, and “Lesser Frigate Pelican” of Latham 1785 (Fregata).
● ex “Petit Indicateur” of Levaillant 1807, pl. 242 (Indicator).
● ex “Pie-grièsche d’Italie” of d’Aubenton 1765-1781, pl. 32, fig. 1 (Lanius).
● ex “Perruche à ailes noires” of de Buffon 1770-1783, “Petite perruche de l’isle de Luçon, 4ème ésp.” of Sonnerat 1776, and “Luzonian Parrakeet” of Latham 1781 (syn. Loriculus philippensis).
● ex “Apiaster Philippensis minor” of Brisson 1760 (syn. Merops viridis americanus).
● ex “Little Woodcock” of Pennant 1785, and Latham 1785 (Microptera).
● ex “Troupiale de la Caroline” of d’Aubenton 1765-1781, pl. 606, fig. 1, “Petit Troupiale noir” of de Buffon 1770-1783, and “Lesser black Oriole” of Latham 1782 (syn. Molothrus ater).
● ex “Lesser Bird of Paradise” of Latham 1783 (Paradisaea).
● ex “Barbican à ventre rose” of Levaillant 1806 (Pogonornis).
● ex “Porphyrio minor” of Brisson 1760 (syn. Porphyrula martinica).
● ex “Colymbus fluviatilis” of Brisson 1760 (syn. Tachybaptus ruficollis).
● ex “Huppe d’Afrique” of Audebert & Vieillot 1800-1802 (syn. Upupa africana).
● ex “Ringvia” of Brünnich 1764, and “Lesser Guillemot” of Pennant 1785 (syn. Uria aalge).

(Sturnidae; Ϯ Yellow-faced Myna M. dumontii) Hindi name Maina for starlings and mynahs; “Greater Minor” or “Mino” were names given to the Common Hill Mynah Gracula religiosa by Edwards 1743; "Sous-genre MINO, Mino, N. ...  Le sous-genre que MM. L. et G. établissent en conservant l'ancien nom indien de Mino ou de Minor, donné par Edwards et par Marsden au Mainate, diffère du genre Mainatus par quelques caractères assez distincts. Il semble former le passage des genres Mainatus et Pastor par l'intermédiaire du Philedon goulin (Pastor musicus, Temm., ou Gracula calva), qui devra s'y rapporter très-probablement.  ...  Une seule espèce appartient encore à ce sous-genre: c'est le Mino de Dumont (Mino Dumontii, Less.) de la Nouvelle-Guinée." (Lesson 1827); "Mino Lesson, 1827, Bull. Sci. Nat. Geol, (Bull. Univer. Sci. Indus., sec. 2), 10, p. 158. Type, by monotypy, Mino dumontii Lesson." (Amadon in Peters 1962, XV, 115).  
Var. Mina, Minor.
Synon. Eumathes, Melanopyrrhus.