APLONIS

(Sturnidae; Ϯ Norfolk Starling A. fusca) Gr. ἁπλοος haploos  simple, plain; ορνις ornis, ορνιθος ornithos  bird; “AT a meeting at the Society's Rooms, Leicester Square, Mr. Gould, after making some remarks on various birds which were on the table, entered into a description of a new genus of birds, for which he proposed the name of Aplornis, on account of its simple structure. This genus, Mr. Gould observed, partakes of the characters of the genera Lamprotornis, Lanius, and Turdus; we will, however, endeavour to give an idea of of its distinguishing characters by comparing it with with the genus Lamprotornis. When thus compared, Mr. G. remarked that the species of Aplornis are altogether of a more robust form: the beak, which is distinctly notched, the wings, the legs, and the tail, are shorter in proportion; the latter is slightly forked. It may also be distinguished by the want of the splendid colouring so remarkable in Lamprotornis, all the species of which, it will be remembered, are of a beautiful rich green colour, with a satin-like gloss. There were two species of this new genus on the table, both belonging to the society; one from New Holland, and the other from the Friendly Islands.” (Gould 1836, The Analyst, XVII, 152); "Mr. Gould exhibited specimens of two new species of Birds from the Friendly Islands and New Holland, of which he proposed to form a genus. He stated them to approximate, in his opinion, in nearly an equal degree to the genera Lanius, Turdus, and Lamprotornis; but believed that they might with propriety be arranged among the Thrushes. Their characters were given as follows:  APLONIS.  ...In both species the feathers of the head are lanceolate; and the general plumage above has a slight glossy hue, especially on the head and back of the neck" (Gould 1836, P. Z. S., IV, 73); "According to Mathews (Ibis, 1942, p. 342) this name, spelled Aplornis, was first proposed in the "Analyst" for Oct. 1, 1836 [not seen], by an anonymous reviewer of Gould's forthcoming description. Even if this citation must stand, the spelling Aplonis may be retained on the ground that Aplornis was a slip of the pen for Aplonis. Gould used the latter spelling in all his publications. He treated the genus as feminine and I have followed this usage." (Amadon in Peters 1962, XV, 75); "APLONIS Gould, 1836 F -- Aplonis fusca Gould, 1836; type by subsequent designation (G. R. Gray, 1840, A List of the Genera of Birds, p. 40)." (Dickinson & Christidis (eds.) 2014, 581). Bruce & McAllan 1990, state that Gould’s description of Aplornis in The Analyst was published about two weeks before his description of Aplonis in the P. Z. S. (see above). They recommend the use of Aplornis (“has been used at least three times in the last 50 years”), but by reason of recent majority usage (e.g., Mayr 1941, Baker 1951, Ripley 1961, Mayr & Greenway (ed.) 1962, Rand & Gilliard 1967, Ali & Ripley 1972, Schodde 1975, White & Bruce 1986, Sibley & Monroe 1990, Christidis & Boles 1994, Feare & Craig 1998, Mayr & Diamond, 2001, Dickinson (ed.) 2003, Higgins et al. (ed.) 2006b, Dickinson & Christidis (ed.) 2014, Winkler et al. 2015) and, following Schodde et al. 2007, in the interests of stability it is better to retain Aplonis (contra Christidis & Boles 2008). Beehler & Pratt 2016 state that the generic spelling Aplonis is conserved (ICZN Opinion 2285).
Var. Aplornis.
Synon. Calornis, Kittlitzia, Lamprocorax, Macruropsar, Metallopsar, Psaroides, Rhinopsar, Santaplonis, Sturnoides.

Search for more names on the Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology by James A. Jobling.
Recommended citation
Jobling, J. A. (2019). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2019). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from www.hbw.com on 19 January 2019).