ORTALIS

(Cracidae; Ϯ Little Chachalaca O. motmot) Gr. ορταλις ortalis, ορταλιδος ortalidos  chicken; "In the year 1786 Blasius Merrem published his 'Avium rariorum et minus cognitarum icones et descriptiones collectæ e germanicis latinaæ factæ;' and under his account of his Penelope jacupema, of which he quotes "Alector brasilianus, Klein, Hist. Av. pag. 112," as a synonym, he proposes in the following words a subdivision of this genus Alector: — "Quod genus, cum multas sane species comprehendat, in plures phalanges dividendum videtur, quarum primam cum Linnæo atque Brissonio Cracem, eam, ad quam nostra pertinet species, Penelopen, tertiam, ad quam Phasianus Motmot et similes ei referendæ sunt aves, Ortalida appello." (Fasc. ii. p. 40.)  How any one can have read this passage and not seen that "Ortalida" was the accusative case governed by "ap, pello" is indeed a marvel; but the fact remains that, to this day, "Ortalida" is constantly used as the name of a genus  ...  It is true that the accurate Gloger, in his 'Gemeinnütz. Hand- u. Hilfsbuch der Naturgeschichte' (Breslau, 1842), p. 373, uses the name "Ortalis" as if no one could have ever thought of any other form for the nominative case.  Whoever first adopted Merrem's name, evidently copied it hastily from the Latin; and his oversight seems never yet to have been seriously noticed. But there is no doubt that Merrem had in mind the classical Greek word ορταλις, which mainly corresponds to the Latin pullus and to our "chicken," a Bœotian word (probably akin to ορνις) which, say Liddell and Scott (1869), passed into general poetic use. Hence it is clear that, whenever the name is used, the genus should be called ORTALIS, as the only nominative form of the feminine noun." (Wharton 1879); "Ortalida (accusative case) = Ortalis (nominative) Merrem, Avium rar. Icon. et Descr., fasc. 2, 1786, p. 40. Type, by original designation Phasianus motmot Linné." (Peters 1934, II, 16).
Var. Ortalida, Oztalida, Ortaldia.
Synon. Peneloides, Penelops, Penelopsis.

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).