Open Access
How to translate text using browser tools
9 March 2021 The valid specific name of Sulawesi's Maroon-chinned Fruit Dove: gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832
Normand David, Andy Elliott, Murray D. Bruce
Author Affiliations +

We present evidence demonstrating that the combination Columba gularisQuoy & Gaimard, 1832, is not preoccupied by Columba gularisWagler, 1827, and is available. It should be used as the valid specific name of the taxon rather than the replacement name Leucotreron epiaOberholser, 1918.

The Maroon-chinned Fruit Dove of Sulawesi was originally described as Columba gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 18321, and for almost a century this name was invariably used for the taxon. However, a slightly earlier application of this same combination for an African bird was known, and because Quoy & Gaimard's name was thought to be preoccupied, the replacement name epia Oberholser, 1918, was introduced for the Sulawesi bird. The appropriateness of this action and the history of the case require examination to confirm the valid specific name for this taxon.

History of the names

In 1808, in his Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d'Afrique (pp. 116–118), François Levaillant described a new form of dove, accompanied by an attractive illustration, calling it ‘Le Colombi-Caille’, and stating that it came from Great Namaqualand. Levaillant was an adherent of Buffon and rejected the Linnaean naming system, considering that a vernacular French name was quite sufficient. He also remarked (p. 118) that he had made a special effort to complete the descriptions of his new pigeons so that Temminck could include them in his forthcoming monograph on the Columbidae.

Temminck (1811: 26–27) duly included Levaillant's ‘Colombi-Caille’ in the monograph, with a description almost identical to Levaillant's and a perhaps slightly inferior plate (Pl. XV). He called the bird ‘Colombi-Galline Hottentot’, but, more to the point, gave it a scientific name, Columba Hottentotta.

A few years later, Wagler (1827: [261]) listed within his genus Columba what was clearly the same bird, citing both Levaillant's and Temminck's names, again presenting a near-identical description, and naming it C. gularis (#90). Wagler was among those who considered that scientific names should be apt and that this outweighed the historically accepted principle of priority, which may explain why he provided a new name for a form that already had an apparently valid name. As a result, gularis Wagler, 1827, would have been a junior objective synonym of hottentotta Temminck, 1811.

Around the same time, during a French circumnavigation of the globe by the Astrolabe in 1826–29, a large number of specimens were collected including a new dove from near Manado, at the north-east tip of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. When the ship's surgeons, Quoy and Gaimard, were writing up their results, they named the species Columba gularis (1832: 247), presumably unaware that Wagler had recently used the same name for a totally different bird in southern Africa.

The best part of a century later, Oberholser (1918: 48) reached the conclusion that Quoy and Gaimard's name was preoccupied by Wagler's [objective] synonym of Temminck's name, despite noting that both names referred to ‘a fictitious bird of Levaillant's'. At the time, the Règles internationales de la nomenclature zoologique, the forerunner of the present Code, had no provisions related to fictitious animals (see Hemming 1958). However, it was already accepted practice that such fabricated inventions had no place within the realms of zoological nomenclature, and such names were customarily ignored. Despite this, Oberholser went on to provide a replacement name for that of Quoy and Gaimard, calling the species Leucotreron epia2.

Levaillant's bird

Levaillant's sparkling accounts of his travels in southern Africa caused an immediate sensation after his first publications in 1790, and he quickly became a celebrity in European society (Stresemann 1975: 88 ff., Bruce 2003: 21). However, from the outset there were sceptics, as revealed in a letter from Count von Hoffmannsegg to his sister, in 1797 (translation from Stresemann 1975: 89): ‘It is quite possible that often in his tales he improves on nature as he observed it, but certainly not so vastly as many here [Paris] believe, and I do not know why all his stories should not basically be true.’ At the same time, Hoffmannsegg also commented on how skilled and rapid Levaillant was at preparing skins.

As already noted, Wagler had renamed Levaillant's pigeon in his Systema avium of 1827. In the prologue to this book (p. [7]) he extolled Levaillant's work and criticised the small-mindedness and jealousy of those who cast doubt on its authenticity. But, just a few years later, by the time he was writing his Monographia Psittacorum, he too had become suspicious, having detected that some of Levaillant's birds were taken from plates in the works of Buffon and Edwards, skilfully altered and then claimed to occur in ‘Lisbon, the Cape or some other remote location’ (1832: 467). Perhaps he might have had more to say about the matter, and even the dove in question, but in August 1832 he died in an unfortunate accident (Gebhardt 2006: 375).

Some clear falsifications among Levaillant's birds were detected by Hartlaub and Jules Verreaux3, whilst Bonaparte (1857: 69) did not know what to make of ‘Columba hottentotta' and did not award it a species entry. It was left to Sundevall (1857) to reveal the true extent of Levaillant's falsehoods. As a child, Sundevall had been captivated by Levaillant's books, which had been important in his electing to become a zoologist. While working on collections of southern African birds made by Wahlberg and others, he was struck by the number of birds described by Levaillant as being common that were never encountered by subsequent visitors to apparently the same regions, in an area not notably given to local endemism. Amid growing doubts, Sundevall eventually examined all of Levaillant's ‘species' one by one, checking various skins in Leiden with the help of Schlegel, and in Paris with Jules Verreaux. He concluded that of the 284 species covered by Levaillant, 134 were valid southern African species, but the rest consisted of large numbers found exclusively in other parts of the world (New Zealand, Australia, North and South America, China, India, Java, etc.), as well as false descriptions, composite species or artefacts (skins fabricated from parts of more than one species), fictitious birds and some doubtful cases4. In his paper, he gave details of each case. His conclusion on ‘Le Colombi-Caille’ was that the bird was entirely fictitious.

After this landmark publication, Sundevall's careful and considered conclusions appear to have been universally accepted, and thereafter any references to Levaillant's dove have invariably described it as fictitious (e.g. Layard 1867: 264, Gray 1870: 240, Salvadori 1893: 644–645, Oberholser 1918: 48).

Application of the Code

Several articles of the International code of zoological nomenclature (hereafter the Code; ICZN 1999) are particularly relevant to this case and require comment.

Exclusions and availability.—The names Columba hottentotta Temminck, 1811, and C. gularis Wagler, 1827, were coined for a fictitious species. As a result, they are not regulated by the Code (see Art. 1.3.1, and Glossary: concept, hypothetical), and are not available (see Glossary: unavailable name). They are expressly excluded by the Code and have no standing in zoological nomenclature. Effectively, as scientific names they have never existed.

When Oberholser (1918) supplied a new replacement name for Columba gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832, he did so stating that their name was preoccupied by Columba gularis Wagler, 1827. But Wagler's name is unavailable, as it was based on a non-existent bird, a point noted by Oberholser himself5. Therefore, Oberholser's replacement name was completely unnecessary because Columba gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832, was perfectly valid and not preoccupied: it was at all times the correct name for the Sulawesi bird. The fact that Oberholser's new name was not needed does not make it unavailable; it was validly introduced but is a junior objective synonym of gularis Quoy & Gaimard6.

Had Columba gularis Wagler, 1827, been an available name, Columba gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832, would have been a primary homonym, and thus permanently invalid (Art. 57.2). But, because for the purposes of the Code Wagler's name has effectively never existed, Quoy and Gaimard's name has always been valid: there is no case of homonymy here7.

Usage—Having established that gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832, is available and has priority over epia Oberholser, 1918, it is worth checking to establish if this is a case where reversal of precedence (Art. 23.9) might be applicable. This article is the one place where the Code gives a reasonably precise and workable definition of ‘prevailing usage’, as can be seen here.

  • 23.9.1. prevailing usage must be maintained when the following conditions are both met:

  • the senior synonym or homonym has not been used as a valid name after 1899, and

  • the junior synonym or homonym has been used for a particular taxon, as its presumed valid name, in at least 25 works, published by at least 10 authors in the immediately preceding 50 years and encompassing a span of not less than 10 years.'

It is important to note the requirement that both conditions be met. In this case, if both are met, the junior objective synonym epia would overthrow the priority of the senior gularis, so we must examine the facts for each condition in turn.

For Art. to be met, gularis Quoy & Gaimard must not have been used as a valid name after 1899. We found seven (arguably eight) publications post-1899 in which gularis was used as the valid name of this species: Forbes & Robinson (1900: 121), Dubois (1902: 736), Hose (1903: 81), Lampe (1905: 200), Mathews (1910: 100), Hartert (1927: 4), Stresemann (1936: 365), and perhaps arguably (see footnote 6) Oberholser (1918: 48). One such use would technically be sufficient, but there is evidence of at least seven or eight. The required condition is not met.

For Art. to be met, epia Oberholser needs to have been used as the valid name for this dove in at least 25 works from the immediately preceding 50 years (i.e. 1971–2020). We undertook an exhaustive search but managed to find no more than 21 such uses: Wolters (1975: 53), Goodwin (1977: 341, 1983: 277), Howard & Moore (1980: 149, 1991: 92), White & Bruce (1986: 199), Rösler (1996: 271), Baptista et al. (1997: 207), Coates & Bishop (1997: 321), Clements (2000: 125, 2007: 124), Gibbs et al. (2001: 228), Dickinson (2003: 174), Rheindt et al. (2011: 429–440), Dickinson & Remsen (2013: 76), del Hoyo & Collar (2014: 206), Eaton et al. (2016: 52), Bahr (2016: 130), Martin et al. (2017: 75), Arlott (2018: 128), and del Hoyo (2020: 110). Indeed, six of these (Goodwin, Howard & Moore and Clements, each twice) might more appropriately be considered to amount to three cases of duplication, as in each case the second date listed above refers simply to an updated version of the same work, with the same authors, same combinations, and precisely the same information; it seems difficult to justify counting each member of these pairings as different ‘works'8. Either way, again the required condition of the article is not met.

A few mentions of the name from this period are clearly excluded from the ‘uses’ stipulated in Art. 23.9 (see, especially, 23.9.6). For example, Martens & Bahr (2016: 218) is a serious scientific paper but, in line with the overall purpose of its series, it simply reports usage elsewhere (del Hoyo & Collar 2014) of a new combination, Ramphiculus epius. It is perfectly clear that the authors of this paper were not themselves using this as the correct name for the taxon.

Given the remarkably few uses of epia detected within the required timescale9, for interest we decided to extend our search back to the introduction of this name by Oberholser in 1918, although any earlier uses would have no bearing on Art. 23.9. In addition to Oberholser's paper, we found only seven other uses: Riley (1924: 12), Mathews (1927: 28), Peters (1937: 26), Stresemann (1941: 53), Kuroda (1953: 108) and Goodwin (1967: 341, 1970: 341). This figure compares very unfavourably with at least 41 uses of gularis Quoy & Gaimard that we located from before the cut-off date for Art. of 1899 (see Appendix).

Note that Goodwin (1967) is the first edition and Goodwin (1970) the second of the same work that is cited twice in the 1971–2020 list, above. Differences between the 1967 and 1970 versions appear minimal, and mostly related to details of life histories, while the ‘edition’ of 1977 is apparently simply a reprint with a different cover page, as already reported by Bock (1979: 646). The 1983 edition is much the same but with a different layout. The species account for Ptilinopus subgularis (including epia [sic]) is absolutely identical word-for-word and space-for-space across the four editions, apart from the two-column layout used in 1983, which appears to have had the unfortunate side effect of introducing two (very minor) typographical errors10. As such, it would seem against the spirit of the Code (see, e.g., Art. 23.9.6) to count four versions of the same book as four uses (only two are potentially relevant to Art. 23.9). In truth, for the purposes of Art. 23.9, it might be argued that perhaps the first (1967) edition should be considered the only valid use, and this falls outwith the relevant period of Art.


The name Columba gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832, is valid and available. It is not, and never has been, preoccupied. The proposed replacement name Leucotreron epia Oberholser, 1918, is a valid and available name, but is an objective junior synonym of Columba gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832.

To qualify for reversal of precedence due to possible prevailing usage, both conditions of Art. 23.9 must be met. Having studied uses of both epithets as the valid name for the taxon, we find that the case for promoting epia over gularis fails on both counts, as neither of the required conditions is met.

Nowadays, this taxon is normally placed in either Ptilinopus or Ramphiculus, traditionally in a polytypic species but increasingly as a separate, monotypic species. Irrespective of its treatment, the correct name for this taxon is gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832.


We thank our referees for their useful comments and corrections. For assistance in locating some of the more difficult-to-find works consulted, we are most grateful to Gaétan Duquette, Steven Gregory, Alison Harding, Josep del Hoyo, James Jobling, Albert Martínez-Vilalta, Tom Schulenberg and Frank Steinheimer. We also thank Guy Kirwan for his editorial contribution.



Arlott, N. 2018. Birds of the Greater Sundas, the Philippines and Wallacea. Princeton Univ. Press. Google Scholar


Bahr, N. 2016. The bird species. Die Vogelarten. An annotated checklist. Eine Kommentierte Artenliste. No. 2. Podicipediformes, Phoenicopteriformes, Mesitornithiformes, Pterocliformes, Columbiformes. Christ Media Natur Verlag, Minden. Google Scholar


Baptista, L. F., Trail, P. W. & Horblit, H. M. 1997. Family Columbidae (pigeons and doves). Pp. 60–243 in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. (eds.) Handbook of the birds of the world, vol. 4. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Google Scholar


Blasius, W. 1883. Über die Tauben des malayischen Archipels. J. Orn. 31: 113–162. Google Scholar


Blasius, W. 1886a. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Vogelfauna von Celebes II. Zeitschr. Ges. Orn. 3: 81–179. Google Scholar


Blasius, W. 1886b. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Vogelfauna von Celebes III. Zeitschr. Ges. Orn. 3: 193–210. Google Scholar


Blasius, W. 1897. Neuer Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Vogelfauna von Celebes. Pp. 275–395 in Festschrift der herzogl. Techn. Hochschule Carol. Wilhelm. Gelegenheit 69 Vers. Deutsch Naturf. Aerzte in Braunschweig. Google Scholar


Bock, W. J. 1979. Reviews: Pigeons and doves of the world. Auk 96: 646. Google Scholar


Bonaparte, C. L. 1854. Coup d'œil sur l'ordre des pigeons. Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci., Paris 39: 869–880. Google Scholar


Bonaparte, C. L. 1855a. Coup d'œil sur l'ordre des pigeons (sixième et dernière partie). Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci., Paris 40: 205–221. Google Scholar


Bonaparte, C. L. 1855b. Notices ornithologiques. Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci., Paris 41: 247–249. Google Scholar


Bonaparte, C. L. 1857. Conspectus generum avium, II. E. J. Brill, Leiden. Google Scholar


Bruce, M. D. 2003. A brief history of classifying birds. Pp. 11–43 in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D. A. (eds.) Handbook of the birds of the world, vol. 8. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Google Scholar


Brüggemann, F. 1876. Beiträge zur Ornithologie von Celebes und Sangir. Abh. Naturw. Ver. Bremen 5: 35–102. Google Scholar


Clements, J. F. 2000. Birds of the world: a checklist. Ibis Publishing Co., Vista, CA. Google Scholar


Clements J. F. 2007. The Clements checklist of birds of the world. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, NY. Google Scholar


Coates, B. J. & Bishop, K. D. 1997. A guide to the birds of Wallacea. Dove Publications, Alderley. Google Scholar


Dickinson, E. C. (ed.). 2003. The Howard and Moore complete checklist of the birds of the world. Third edn. Christopher Helm, London. Google Scholar


Dickinson, E. C. & Remsen, J. V. (eds.) 2013. The Howard and Moore complete checklist of the birds of the world, vol. 1. Fourth edn. Aves Press, Eastbourne. Google Scholar


Dubois, A. 1902. Synopsis avium. Nouveau manuel d'ornithologie, Deuxième partie, Fasc. XI. H. Lamertin, Bruxelles. Google Scholar


Eaton, J. A., van Balen, B., Brickle, N. W. & Rheindt, F. E. 2016. Birds of the Indonesian archipelago: Greater Sundas and Wallacea. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Google Scholar


de Elera, C. 1895. Catálago sistemático de toda la fauna de Filipinas, vol. 1. Colegio-Universidad de Santo Tomás de Manila, Manila. Google Scholar


Elliot, D. G. 1878. On the fruit-pigeons of the genus Ptilopus. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1878: 500–575. Google Scholar


Finsch, O. 1865. Neu-Guinea und seine Bewohner. C. E. Müller, Bremen. Google Scholar


Forbes, H. O. & Robinson, H. C. 1900. Catalogue of the Charadriomorphic birds (Charadriformes): auks (Alcidae), gulls (Laridae), and skuas (Stercorariidae) — Lari; lark-plovers (Thinocoridae), stone-curlews (Œdicnemidae), jaçanas (Jacanidae), sheathbills (Chionidae), crab-plovers (Dromadidae), coursers (Cursoriidae), plovers and snipes (Charadriidae) — Limicolae; pigeons (Columbae), and sandgrouse (Pterocles), in the Derby Museum. Bull. Liverpool Mus. 2: 117–150. Google Scholar


Gebhardt, L. 2006. Die Ornithologen Mitteleuropas. 1747 bemerkenswerte Biographien vom Mittelalter bis zum Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts. Zusammenfassung der Bände 1–4. Klassiker der Tier- und Pflanzenkunde, AULAVerlag, Wiebelsheim. Google Scholar


Gibbs, D., Barnes, E. & Cox, J. 2001. Pigeons and doves: a guide to the pigeons and doves of the world. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, CT. Google Scholar


Giebel, C. G. 1877. Thesaurus ornithologiae, Bd. 3. F. A. Brockhaus, Leipzig. Google Scholar


Goodwin, D. 1967. Pigeons and doves of the world. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London. Google Scholar


Goodwin, D. 1970. Pigeons and doves of the world. Second edn. Trustees of the Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London. Google Scholar


Goodwin, D. 1977. Pigeons and doves of the world. Second edn. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, NY & London. Google Scholar


Goodwin, D. 1983. Pigeons and doves of the world. Third edn. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, NY. Google Scholar


Gray, G. R. 1844. Genera of birds, pt. 5. Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, London. Google Scholar


Gray, G. R. 1870. Hand-list of genera and species of birds, distinguishing those contained in the British Museum, pt. 2. Trustees of the Brit. Mus., London. Google Scholar


Hartert, E. 1897. Mr. William Doherty's bird collections from Celebes. Novit. Zool. 4: 153–166. Google Scholar


Hartert, E. 1927. Types of birds in the Tring Museum. B. Types in the general collection. VIII. Novit. Zool. 34: 1–378. Google Scholar


Heine, F. & Reichenow, A. 1890. Nomenclator musei heineani ornithologici. R. Friedlander & Sohn, Berlin. Google Scholar


Hemming, F. 1958. Official text of the “Règles internationales de la nomenclature zoologique” (International code of zoological nomenclature) as it existed up to the opening of the Paris congress in 1948. Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 14: i–xxviii. Google Scholar


Hose, C. 1903. List of birds collected in northern Celebes. Ornis 12: 77–117. Google Scholar


Howard, R. & Moore, A. 1980. A complete checklist of the birds of the world. Oxford Univ. Press. Google Scholar


Howard, R. & Moore, A. 1991. A complete checklist of the birds of the world. Second edn. Harcourt Brace & Co., London. Google Scholar


del Hoyo, J. 2020. All the birds of the world. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Google Scholar


del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. J. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International illustrated checklist of the birds of the world, vol. 1. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Google Scholar


International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). 1999. International code of zoological nomenclature. Fourth edn. International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London. Google Scholar


Jentink, F. A. 1883. Règne animal: animaux empaillés ou conservés par d'autres méthodes. Pp. 133–147 in Veth, P. J. (ed.) Catalogue de la section des colonies néerlandaises à l'Exposition internationale coloniale et d'exportation générale, tenue du 1 mai au 31 octobre 1883 à Amsterdam. E. J. Brill, Leiden. Google Scholar


Kuroda, N. 1953. On a collection of birds from Celebes and Halmahera, preserved in Yamashina Museum of Birds. J. Yamashina Inst. Orn. 12: 98–111. Google Scholar


Lampe, E. 1905. Katalog der Vogel-Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums zu Wiesbaden II (Columbae und Pterocletes). Jb. Nassauischen Ver. Naturk. 58: 195–217. Google Scholar


Layard, E. L. 1867. The birds of South Africa. J. C. Juta, Cape Town. Google Scholar


Lesson, R. P. 1837. Complément des œuvres de Buffon, vol. 8. Pourrat Frères, Paris. Google Scholar


Levaillant, F. 1790. Voyage de monsieur Le Vaillant dans l'intérieur de l'Afrique, par le cap de Bonne-Espérance, dans les années 1780, 81, 82, 83, 84 & 85, 2 vols. Chez Leroy, Paris. Google Scholar


Levaillant, F. 1808. Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d'Afrique, vol. 6. Delachaussée, Paris. Google Scholar


Martens, J. & Bahr, N. 2016. Dokumentation neuer Vogel-Taxa, 10 – Bericht für 2014. Vogelwarte 54: 195–230. Google Scholar


Martin., T. E., Monkhouse, J., Akbar, P. G., Baddams, J., Mulyani, Y., Kaban, A., Sumanto, L. Y., Keogh, N. T. & Nightingale, J. 2017. Notes on the distribution, status and natural history of ten species on Buton Island, southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. BirdingASIA 28: 74–77. Google Scholar


Mathews, G. M. 1910–11. The birds of Australia, vol. 1. Witherby & Co., London. Google Scholar


Mathews, G. M. 1927. Systema avium Australasianarum. British Ornithologists' Union, London. Google Scholar


Meyer, A. B. 1879. Field-notes on the birds of Celebes. Ibis 21: 125–147. Google Scholar


Meyer, A. B. & Wiglesworth, L. W. 1895. Bericht über die von den Herren P. u. F. Sarasin in Nord Celébes gesammelten Vögel. Abh. Ber. Mus. Dresden 5(8): 1–20. Google Scholar


Meyer, A. B. & Wiglesworth, L. W. 1896. Eine Vogelsammlung von Nordost Celébes und den Inseln Peling und Banggai. Abh. Ber. Mus. Dresden 6(2): 1–20. Google Scholar


Meyer, A. B. & Wiglesworth, L. W. 1898. The birds of Celebes and the neighbouring islands, vol. 2. R. Friedlander & Sohn, Berlin. Google Scholar


Mlíkovský, J. 2012. The dating of the ornithological part of Quoy and Gaimard's “Voyage de l'Astrolabe ”. Zool. Bibliogr. 2: 59–69. Google Scholar


Oberholser, H. C. 1918. Mutanda ornithologica III. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 31: 47–49. Google Scholar


Peters, J. L. 1937. Check-list of birds of the world, vol. 3. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA. Google Scholar


Prévost, F. 1838. Colombe mentonnière. P. 21 in Knip, P. & Prévost, F. Les pigeons, vol. 2. Chez Mme Knip, Paris. Google Scholar


Quoy, J. R. C & Gaimard, J. P. 1832. Voyage de l'Astrolabe – Zoologie. Pp. 1–268 in Dumont d'Urville, J. Voyage de découvertes de l'Astrolabe exécuté par ordre du Roi, pendant les années 1826–1827–1828–1829, Zoologie, vol. 1. J. Tastu, Paris. Google Scholar


Reichenbach, H. G. L. 1861. Die vollständigste Naturgeschichte der Tauben und taubenartigen Vögel: Wallnister, Erdtauben, Baumtauben, Hocco's, Columbariæ, Megapodinæ, Peristerinæ, Columbinæ, Alectorinæ. Exp. Vollst. Naturg., Dresden & Leipzig. Google Scholar


Rheindt, F. E., Eaton, J. A. & Verbelen, F. 2011. Vocal trait evolution in a geographic leapfrog pattern: speciation in the Maroon-chinned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus subgularis) complex from Wallacea. Wilson J. Orn. 123: 429–440. Google Scholar


Riley, J. A. 1924. A collection of birds from north and north-central Celebes. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 64: 1–118. Google Scholar


Rosenberg, C. B. H. 1878. Der malayische Archipel. Gustav V. Weigel, Leipzig. Google Scholar


Rösler, G. 1996. Die Wildtauben der Erde: Freileben, Haltung und Zucht. Schaper, Alfeld. Google Scholar


Salvadori, T. 1875. Intorno a due collezioni di uccelli di Celebes. Ann. Mus. Civ. Genova 7: 641–681. Google Scholar


Salvadori, T. 1893. Catalogue of the birds in the British Museum, vol. 21. Trustees of the Brit. Mus., London. Google Scholar


Schlegel, H. 1863. Notice sur trois nouvelles espèces de pigeons du genre Ptilopus. Nederl. Tijdschr. Dierkunde 1: 59–62. Google Scholar


Schlegel, H. 1873. Aves Columbae. Pp. 1–180 in Muséum d'Histoire naturelle de Pays-Bas. Revue méthodique et critique des collections déposées dans cet établissement. E. J. Brill, Leiden. Google Scholar


Sharpe, R. B. 1899. A hand-list of the genera and species of birds, vol. 1. Trustees of the Brit. Mus., London. Google Scholar


Stresemann, E. 1936. A nominal list of the birds of Celebes. Ibis 78: 356–369. Google Scholar


Stresemann, E. 1941. Die Vögel von Celebes. J. Orn. 89: 1–103. Google Scholar


Stresemann, E. 1975. Ornithology from Aristotle to the present. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA. Google Scholar


Sundevall. C. J. 1857. Le Vaillant, oiseaux d'Afrique. Kongl. Svenska Vet.-Akad. Handl. 2(3): 16–60. Google Scholar


Temminck, C. J. 1811. Colombi-Galline hottentot. Pp. 26–27 in Knip, P. & Temminck, C. J. Les pigeons. Chez Mme Knip, Paris. Google Scholar


Verreaux, J. & Des Murs, O. 1862. Description d'une nouvelle espèce de pigeon du genre Leucotreron. Ibis 4: 342–343. Google Scholar


Wagler, J. 1827. Systema avium. Cottae, Stuttgart. Google Scholar


Wagler, J. 1832. Monographia Psittacorum. Abh. Math.-Phys. Kl. K. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. 1: 463–750. Google Scholar


Walden, A. 1872. A list of the birds known to inhabit the island of Celebes. Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond. 8: 23–108. Google Scholar


Walden, A. 1877. A list of the birds known to inhabit the Philippine islands. Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond. 9: 125–252. Google Scholar


Wallace, A. R. 1860. The ornithology of northern Celebes. Ibis 2: 140–147. Google Scholar


Wallace, A. R. 1861. Notes on the ornithology of Timor. Ibis 3: 347–351. Google Scholar


Wallace, A. R. 1865. On the pigeons of the Malay Archipelago. Ibis 7: 365–400. Google Scholar


Wallace, A. R. 1866. Über die Tauben des malayischen Archipels. J. Orn. 14: 269–285. Google Scholar


Wallace, A. R. 1869. The Malay Archipelago, vol. 1. Macmillan & Co., London. Google Scholar


Wallace, A. R. 1880. Island life. Macmillan & Co., London. Google Scholar


White, C. M. N. & Bruce, M. D. 1986. The birds of Wallacea (Sulawesi, The Moluccas & Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia). BOU Check-list no. 7. British Ornithologists' Union, London. Google Scholar


Wolters, H. E. 1975. Die Vogelarten der Erde, Lieferung 1. Paul Parey, Hamburg & Berlin. Google Scholar



List of works using gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832 (1832–99; and after 1899), and list of works using epia/epius Oberholser, 1918 (1918–70; and 1971–2020). The lists present combinations used by the authors with indications of publication date and page. All cited authors are listed in the References.





[1] 1 For dating to 1832, rather than 1830, see Mlíkovský (2012).

[2] 2 Oberholser (1918) did not indicate the etymology of epia, but it is clearly the Latinized Greek adjective ηπιος (-α, -ου) [gentle, kind] in its feminine form. Therefore, as the genus Leucotreron is masculine, the original combination Leucotreron epia requires a mandatory correction to Leucotreron epius.

[3] 3 Verreaux first visited South Africa when he was only 11, accompanying Delalande's expedition for the Paris museum and staying three years. After returning to France, he soon went back to the Cape in 1825, where he stayed for 13 years, thereby gaining vast first-hand knowledge of the southern African avifauna (Stresemann 1975: 162).

[4] 4 Sundevall remarked that confusion of the origins of skins was not unusual at the time, with many species being attributed to southern Africa because vessels from the East typically stopped off at the Cape, and often transferred their cargoes to other Europe-bound ships, with the result that a European collector on purchasing an undocumented series of birds might easily be erroneously led to believe that they had originated in the Cape. However, while most European collectors might not be expected to discover these errors, what was unforgivable in Levaillant's case was that he invariably stated that he had seen the species in southern Africa, providing a series of bogus details concerning the circumstances, as well as notes on their behaviour and even their nests and eggs.

[5] 5 Subsequent to its original introduction by Wagler (1827), it was never used as a valid name.

[6] 6 Oberholser's (1918) introduction of epia could well be considered insufficient for making the name available under Art. 11.5, as he cited the name but did not actually use it in his species heading (Leucotreron gularis); indeed, it might even be argued that he introduced the name conditionally, as he stated ‘ may be called Leucotreron epia, nom. nov'. However, the name would nonetheless have been made available (Art.11.6.1) through subsequent use, for example by Riley (1924); names proposed conditionally before 1961 are not automatically to be excluded (Art. 11.5.1).

[7] 7 It is worth noting, in passing, that Art. 59.3 talks of names that were replaced before 1961 becoming permanently invalid, but this article explicitly relates to secondary homonyms, which is not the case here.

[8] 8 In this vein, we have excluded the numerous reprints, translations and editions (sometimes ‘revised’ or ‘annotated') of Wallace's (1869) classic The Malay Archipelago that have appeared regularly over the last 150 years or so; the original text (and presumably all others) uses the name gularis for this species on p. 431.

[9] 9 The minimal use of the name epia may well be related to the fact that for most of the last 100 years or so the taxon has been lumped with Banggai Fruit Dove Ramphiculus subgularis (Meyer & Wiglesworth 1896), which has priority over the name epia (but not gularis). As a result, unless referring to it at subspecific level, most ornithologists would have known the Sulawesi birds as Ptilinopus subgularis.

[10] 10 The word ‘tail’ is misspelt ‘tall’, and an en-dash is mistakenly replaced with a hyphen.

© 2021 The Authors; This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Normand David, Andy Elliott, and Murray D. Bruce "The valid specific name of Sulawesi's Maroon-chinned Fruit Dove: gularis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832," Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 141(1), 50-58, (9 March 2021).
Received: 5 October 2020; Published: 9 March 2021
Back to Top