(Laridae; Ϯ Black Tern C. niger surinamensis) Probably a deliberate curtailment from Gr. χελιδονιος khelidonios  swallow-like  < χελιδων khelidōn, χελιδονος khelidonos  swallow (cf. Turnix); "The tern or Sea-Swallow may be called the black-headed Tern; I have given it the scientific name of Sterna melanops, which implies the same thing ... This bird is totally different from all the known Terns, and might even perhaps be considered as a new genus, by its long, compressed bill, toes only half-webbed, and want of a hind toe, to which the name of CHLIDONIAS MELANOPS might be applied" (Rafinesque 1822  per Rhoads 1912); "Chlidonias Rafinesque, Kentucky Gazette, n. s., 1, no. 8, 21 Feb., 1822, p. 3, col. 5. Type, by monotypy, Sterna melanops Rafinesque = Sterna surinamensis Gmelin." (Peters 1934, II, 327).
Var. Chlidornis (Gr. ορνις ornis, ορνιθος ornithos  bird).
Synon. Hydrocecropis, Hydrochelidon, Pelodes, Viralva.

Search for more names on the Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology by James A. Jobling.
Recommended citation
Jobling, J. A. (2018). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2018). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 December 2018).