Friday, July 30, 2010

AOU changes

Exciting as it sounds, the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) recently published the 51st supplement of its Checklist. The changes do not affect the total number of species for Panama, but there are lots of changes, both in English and Latin names. Also, there are lots of other taxonomic issues, involving new families and orders. Some changes were already made by the South American Classification Committee (SACC), but I suppose that we will have to wait for the AOU NACC to adopt some other changes, like the splitting of the Blue-crowned Motmot complex, new genera in the Troglodytidae (Wrens), etc... I'll be listing only those changes that directly affect Panama.

Only two changes in English names: 1) the Violaceous Trogon is split into two species, the form occurring in Panama is the Gartered Trogon, Trogon caligatus (notice that its Latin name also changed) 2) The hyphen in Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher was removed, becoming Crowned Slaty Flycatcher ( a recent addition to Panama and North America's lists).

Many changes in Latin names: 1) the White-tailed Trogon is now Trogon chionurus (Trogon viridis -the Green-backed Trogon- is extra-limital) 2) the Brown Jay is now a monotypic species: Psilorhinus morio (a juvenile in the photo) 3) the Blue-winged Warbler becomes Vermivora cyanoptera 4) the Tennessee Warbler becomes Oreothlypis peregrina (formerly in Vermivora) 5) the Flame-throated Warbler becomes Oreothlypis gutturalis (formerly in Parula) 6) both waterthrushes are now in the new genus Parkesia

Other changes of interest: 1) the Osprey recovers its status as monotypic familily, the Pandionidae 2) the Prong-billed Barbet, and the extra-limital Toucan-Barbet, conform the new Semnornithidae 3) all the Lipaugus pihas are officially cotingas (anticipated by Ridgely) 4) the Capitonidae (split from Ramphastidae) only includes New World barbets 5) other two new families arise: the Polioptilidae (gnatwrens & gnatcatchers, split from the Old World Sylviidae) and the Donacobiidae (Donacobius) 6) new orders are: Accipitriformes (kites, hawks & eagles), Eurypygiformes (Sunbittern and extra-limital Kagu), Phaethontiformes (tropicbirds, Red-billed Tropicbird in the photo) and Suliformes (boobies, cormorants, frigatebirds and anhinga) 7) the Pelecaniformes now include the herons, ibises and spoonbills (formerly in Ciconiiformes)

Well, now is time to update my lists!

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