Spelling of cirrocephalus/cirrhocephalus

To: "'Ian Fraser'" <>
Subject: Spelling of cirrocephalus/cirrhocephalus
From: "Mark Clayton" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 10:29:18 +1100

G’day Ian and all,


Philip is correct when he says that Dick Schodde has checked out the correct spelling and it is indeed “cirrocephalus” probably based on something noted in my next paragraph. When I did the revised CSIRO List of Australian Vertebrates – and I think it was also in the first edition - I queried Dick at the time and he said much the same to me as he has to Philip. I also remember an item on Birding-aus (I think) where someone else queried the spelling (was it you Philip?) and Walter Boles admitted that they had the wrong spelling in C&B1 and it would be corrected in C&B2. I don’t know if they have corrected it as I have yet to see a copy of the new C&B.


I have checked the spelling in Howard and Moore 2003 (3rd edition) and they list Accipiter cirrocephalus Collared Sparrowhawk as the “generic” name but list A. c. cirrohcephalus (Vieillot, 1817) for the nominate subspecies with a postscript – “The emended name used here is judged to be in prevailing usage; see Art. 33.2 of the Code (I.C.Z.N., 1999) and p.000 herein”. The Clements (6th edition) 2007 checklist uses cirrocephalus for both the generic name and the nominate subspecies. I do not yet possess a copy of the Gill and Wright 2006 book that I gather the IOC list is based upon but do have a printout from the IOC’s website which gives the spelling as cirrocephalus – it does not list subspecies. Obviously you are correct in what you have said about the original spelling but there does appear to be legitimate exceptions to the rule. I have heard of other examples but off the top of my head can’t remember them.






Perhaps we could/should get Dick to give a short(ish) talk to COG on the workings of this mysterious international body and just who its members are.

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