Colymbus

(syn. Gavia Ϯ Black-throated Diver G. arctica; syn. Podiceps Ϯ Great Crested Grebe P. cristatus) Gr. κολυμβις kolumbis, κολυμβιδος kolumbidos  unknown water-bird, probably a grebe. "68. COLYMBUS.  Rostrum edentulum, subulatum, rectum, acuminatum.  Pedes pone æquilibrium. ...  Colymbi nequeunt incedere, et citissime super aquam currunt, & egregie urinantor." (Linnaeus 1758). “The question of the type of this Linnean genus is a serious one, and has caused a considerable discrepancy between the British and the American current nomenclature. In this country Colymbus is almost universally used for the Loons or Divers, in America for the Grebes [cf. "COLYMBUS, rostrum subulatum lateribus compressiusculum. Pedes lobati, Tibiæ postice carinato-serratæ" (J. R. Forster 1788)]. Linnaeus’ original genus contains four species - arcticus (Black-throated Diver), cristatus (Great Crested Grebe), auritus (Slavonian Grebe), and podiceps (American Pied-billed Grebe). Linnaeus does not designate any type, nor does an examination of his descriptions and synonymy throw any light on his intentions. The American argument is that Brisson in 1760 used Colymbus for the Grebes and Mergus for the Loons, and is thus the first reviser of the genus; but, in the first place, Brisson was not a binomialist, nor did he recognise or quote from Linnaeus’ work. He adopted the genus Colymbus from Moehring, not from Linnaeus, and in no sense can he be called a reviser of Linnaeus. On the other hand, Latham (Gen. Synopsis, Suppl. i. 1787, pp. 294, 295) very definitely adopted Linnaeus’ genus Colymbus for the Divers, and proposed Podiceps for the Grebes. A reference to the British Mus. Catalogue will show that up to 1882, when Stejneger (Proc. U.S. National Mus. v. 1882, p. 42) proposed to use Urinator for the Divers, the genus Colymbus had been almost universally applied to these birds. The Committee hope that the Check-List Committee of the A.O.U. will see their way to return to the older and, as they believe, to the correct usage of the genus Colymbus in the near future.” (BOU 1915). “Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” Colymbus Linnaeus, 1758, was suppressed by the ICZN in 1956 (see Gavia and Podiceps).   Var. Colymbas (Gr. myth. Colymbas was one of the Pierides, who, having failed to best the Muses in a singing contest, was transformed into a waterbird), Columbus, Colimbus.

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 www.hbw.com on 18 December 2018).