|Date:||Tue, 1 Feb 2005 18:30:34 +1000|
Lloyd Nielson's response sorted some things out for me!
The word 'Acanthiza', says Cayley, comes from the Greek, 'acantheon', thorny brake, and 'zao', I live.
- Whitlock Thornbill (Acanthiza whitlocki - from 'F. L. Whitlock (1860-1953), zoological collector, W.A.') - 'Now considered', Cayley says, 'a variety of the Brown Thornbill.' [But see Morcombe, below.]
- Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla - from the Latin, 'pusillus', very small)
- Broad-tailed Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis - from the Latin, 'apicalis', tipped)
- Red-tailed Thornbill (Acanthiza hamiltoni - from 'Hamilton, brother of Gregory M. Matthews') - 'This bird', Cayley says, 'is now regarded as inseparable from the Inland Thornbill.' [And the name, by Morcombe's time, below, has vanished.]
- Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza albiventris - from the Latins, 'albus', white; 'venter', belly)
- Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla) - Morcombe lists five races: pusilla, dawsonensis, diemenensis, archibaldi, zeitzi. [Not one of these four latter names appears in Cayley for either species or races or, as he says, 'varieties'.]
- Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis) - Morcombe lists four races: apicalis, whitlocki, cinerascens, albiventris. [Since Cayley, cinerascensis is new.]
Comparing the distribution notes in the two books, it seems that Cayley's 'Broad-tailed Thornbill' became Acanthiza apicalis apicalis; and that his 'Inland Thornbill' is now Acanthiza apicalis albiventris - each, then, being a race of Acanthiza apicalis, the Inland Thornbill.
Does this seem right??? (Editions of Pizzey and of Simpson & Day before the compact Morcombe seem to show, in their variances with this, some of the confusion/transition that these species/sub-species have been passing through.)
Whilst recovering from shoulder surgery, I am -- at long last -- putting our Australian trip list from the winter (your summer) of 1993-94) into our computer records. I have figured out most of the taxonomic questions along the way, but one remains unclear.
Our list has a sighting of Broad-Tailed Thornbill. I seem to recall that even then there was some uncertainty about this as a separate species, and now it seems to have disappeared. What I am uncertain about is whether it is part of the Brown Thornbill or the Inland Thornbill. Google research pointed in both directions.
Thanks for any assistance.
Falls Church, VA USA
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