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An explanation relating to confused nomenclature of Thlypopis ruficeps (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837): Thraupidae (Aves)

Edward C. Dickinson, J. V. Remsen, Jr


The name that has been in use for over 80 years, based on the combination Sylvia ruficeps, has been shown to have three bibliographic sources. New research shows that in-use name to have been chronologically the second name introduced for the taxon. It is preceded by the name Hylophilus ruficeps in a plate caption, and associated colour image, labelled with a preoccupied name given to an entirely different species. That miscaptioned plate thus introduced a junior homonym and has date precedence. The third source, the text page associated with the image that appeared first, and using the same junior homonym, was published two years later. The name brought into use, due to a previous lack of sound dates of publication, was an available combination and was validly published. The consequence of the changed chronology is that the junior homonym can be disregarded but that a note should be retained that the image in the plate is that of the bird that we now know as Thlypopsis ruficeps.


Sylvia ruficeps; Hylophilus ruficeps; Thlypopsis ruficeps; Alcide d’Orbigny; Frederic de Lafresnaye; misidentification; miscaption; dates of publication; Magasin de Zoologie; Voyage dans l’Amérique Méridionale.

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