PENELOPE

(Cracidae; Ϯ Marail Guan P. marail) Probably arbitrary, from Gr. myth. Penelope, a Greek princess, daughter of Icarius and wife of Ulysses, King of Ithaca, and who spun a braided web or tapestry to deceive many importunate admirers during the long absence of her husband at the siege of Troy. She had promised to choose amongst them upon the completion of the tapestry, but every night unravelled the previous days labour! (cf. "LES GUANS ou JACOUS  ...  Celui de Pénélope qui leur a été imposé par Merrem, désignait, chez les grecs, une espèce de canard qui, disait-on, avait sauvé des eaux la femme d'Ulysse dans son enfance." (Cuvier 1816)). Teixeira 1995, suggested that the generic term is correctly named after Penelope, in allusion to the reticulated pattern on the breast and foreneck of many guans. Another source, citing Penelope’s promiscuity, identifies her web as the limb and facial tattooes worn by woodland revellers during orgies dedicated to the mountain goddess (Gr. πηνη pēnē  thread, web; ωπε ōpe  aspect, look).  Perhaps an allusion to the partial crest of the Marail Guan compared to the full crest of the Common Piping Guan Pipile pipile described (Weishaubiger YakuPenelope leucolophos) in the pages and plate XII following (i.e. L. pene  almost, nearly; Gr. λοφος lophos  crest); "GRÜNGLÄNZENDEN YAKU  ...  Der Kopf ist klein, und mit einer niedrigen Holle (crista) längerer Federn bekleidet. Nach EDWARDS soll man sie auch ohne Holle antreffen, wodurch seiner Meynung nach die Männchen von dem Weibchen sich unterscheiden  ...  [plate XI] Grünglänzender Yaku. Penelope Jacupema" (Merrem 1786); "Penelope Merrem, Av. rar. Icon. et Descr., 1786, fasc. 2, p. 39. Type, by subsequent designation, Penelope marail Gmelin = Penelope iacupema Merrem = Phasianus marail P. L. S. Müller. (Lesson, Man. d'Orn., 2, 1828, p. 214.)" (Peters 1934, II, 12).
Var. PonolopePenelophe.
Synon. GanixGouan, Salpiza, Stegnolaema.
● (syn. Aythya Ϯ Common Pochard A. ferina) Gr. πηνελοψ pēnelops, πηνελοπος pēnelopos  type of duck; "19. LE MILLOUIN.  ...  PENELOPE" (Brisson 1760): based on "Penelops primus" of Aldrovandus 1599-1603, "Penelope" of Jonston 1650-1653 and Charleton 1668, and Anas ferina Linnaeus, 1758.

Search for more names on the Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology by James A. Jobling.
Recommended citation
Jobling, J. A. (2020). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2020). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from www.hbw.com on 29 February 2020).