Actually the situation of two (maybe more) scientific names is not that uncommon. Due to, as indicated by Martin & Geoffrey, historical changes of opinion of
relationships (that one often results in a different genus name), different namings by different authors, aspects of whether something is the same species as something else, aspects of the gender nouns, or any combination of these. Although whether they are
2 names in the same reference is a good clue.
From: Lia Battisson [
Sent: Wednesday, 1 May, 2019 10:09 AM
To: 'Geoffrey Dabb';
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Out of area - Pied (Torresian) Imperial Pigeon - scientific name/s
Thank you Geoffrey, that is clear now. A beautiful bird that I saw in the George Brown Botanic Gardens in Darwin on 3/7/13.
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Sent: 1 May 2019 9:59 AM
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Out of area - Pied (Torresian) Imperial Pigeon - scientific name/s
Lia - It depends on whether the Australian bird is regarded as a subspecies of the ‘imperial pigeon’ that is found more widely, in Indonesia for example. That was the view taken as recently as Christidis and Boles 2008, and gave you
‘D bicolor Pied Imperial-Pigeon’. The global lists (haven’t checked all of them) now regard the New Guinea/Australia species as separate, D spilorrorhoa.
So the species on the Australian list is now (and I snip) –
There are also differences in the English spelling. You will find the variations: ‘Imperial-Pigeon’, ‘Imperial-pigeon’, and ‘Imperial Pigeon’.
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Sent: Wednesday, 1 May 2019 9:30 AM
To: Battisson, Lia <>
Cc: COG Discussion List <>
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Out of area - Pied (Torresian) Imperial Pigeon - scientific name/s
Is that 2 names in the same reference? Looking at
Avibase the taxonomy looks a mess but D, bicolor is the Pied Imperial Pigeon and D. spilorrhoa the Torresian Imperial Pigeon. Checking the "related taxa" panel it looks like a mess with various 'authorities' engaged in trench warfare to preserve
their own view of things.
On Wed, 1 May 2019 at 09:13, Lia Battisson <> wrote:
For those who have expertise in taxonomy, the above bird appears to have two scientific names:
Ducula spilorrhoa and
Can you please explain this for me?