On Thursday, December 14, 2006 7:12 PM Geoffrey Dabb wrote:
For many years, like more than 200, 'Purple Gallinule' was in
in England (where the bird does not occur, although it does on the
continent) for P porphyrio and in the US for P martinica. (Phillip's
'Voyage' refers to the 'Purple Gallinule'.) To avoid confusion (ha
and in light of the current quest for international standard 'common'
vernacular) names, the recommended 'common' name for the former was
'changed' to 'Purple Swamphen'. ('Swamphen', we might note with some
satisfaction, is actually of Australian colonial origin, as Gould
It's all starting to become clear, although I'm interested to know when
"they" decided to go for Swamphen. I checked my "What Bird is That?"
again - it's printed in 1963 and calls it Eastern Swamphen, so it must be a
fair while ago.
It also calls it Porphyrio Melanotus, rather than Porphyrio Porphyrio
Melanotus. I know what it means, but is that strictly an incorrect usage?
I apologise for doing this subject to death, everyone. I'm new at this and
didn't expect to get involved in such things. But when Michael referred to a
bird that I simply couldn't find in any of my books I felt I needed to sort
it out. Hopefully there won't be too many more like this. Perhaps I just
need better/more books.
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