Origin of 'graculina'

To: Shirley Cook <>, Cas and Lisa Liber <>, <>
Subject: Origin of 'graculina'
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 07:58:27 +1000

> From: "Shirley Cook" <>
> Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2006 15:36:34 +1100
> To: "Cas and Lisa Liber" <>,
> <>
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Origin of 'graculina'
> Dear all,
> That wonderful old book, "What Bird is That" by Neville W. Cayley gives
> meanings of the scientific names of birds.  So the Pied Currawong's name:
> Strepera graculina means, "like a graculus, jackdaw".
> Shirley Cook
> Secretary/Treasurer
> Birds Australia - Northern NSW Group

And, BTW, that even older work on Australian birds by John Gould says of
Strepera graculina (pl. 42 in vol. ii), "This species was originally
described and figured in White's "Voyage to New South Wales"; it is
consequently the oldest and most familiarly known member of the group to
which it belongs."

That would be John White, Surgeon-General of NSW.  He published his "Journal
of a Voyage to New South Wales" in London in 1790 and it includes 65
copper-plate engravings of birds animals and botanical specimens - according
to the Angus & Robertson Australian Encyclopaedia of the late 1950s.

But I should add that Schodde & Mason show the species as -

        Strepera (Strepera) graculina (Shaw, 1790)

so I assume that the "described and figured" by White didn't amount to
scientifically describing it as a species.   Perhaps someone who understands
taxonomy and taxonomists might comment?  And also on the significance of
Schodde & Mason's second 'Strepera' in parenthesis.



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