Friday, November 27, 2020

A critical review of the prions (genus Pachyptila collected and observed on Cook's voyages

TitleA critical review of the prions (genus Pachyptila collected and observed on Cook's voyages
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsMedway, DG
JournalNotornis
Volume49
Issue2
Pagination59-75
Type of Articlepaper
KeywordsCook's voyages, descriptions, discovery, Pachyptila belcheri, Pachyptila desolata, Pachyptila turtur, Pachyptila vittata, prions
Abstract

Three of the 6 widely accepted species of Pachyptila were first described and named on the basis of specimens collected between 1768 and 1780 during James Cook's 3 voyages of circumnavigation. Two of them, the thin-billed prion Pachyptila belcheri (Mathews 1912) and the broad-billed prion Pachyptila vittata (Forster,1777), were described and named on the 1st voyage as Procellaria turtur and Procellaria latirostris respectively, but those descriptions and names were never published at the time. As a result, the specific name which had been applied to 1 of them - turtur - became attached to a different taxon, the fairy prion Pachyptila turtur (Kuh1,1820). The description of Procellaria vittata by Reinhold Forster, and the painting of it by his son, which were based on specimens taken in the southern Indian Ocean during the 2nd voyage, actually relate to the Antarctic prion Pachyptila desolata (Gmelin,1789), and not to the broad-billed prion as previously believed. It would therefore be inappropriate to designate the bird in George Forster's painting of an Antarctic prion as the type of the broad-billed prion as has been suggested. The correct type locality of Pachyptila vittata Forster, 1777 is 56V11S, 31V9E. Latham's description of the "Broad-billed Petrel", and therefore Gmelin's Procellaria vittata of 1789, is shown to have been based primarily on a specimen of the broad-billed prion. The type locality of Pachyptila vittata Gmelin, 1789 is not known. Latham's description of the "Brown-banded Petrel", and therefore Gmelin's Procellaria desolata of 1789, was based on a 3rd voyage Pachyptilaspecimen from Kerguelen Island. However, Latham's description could apply to any 1 of the 3 species of Pachyptilawhich breed at that locality.

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