(Phaethontidae; Ϯ Red-billed Tropicbird P. aethereus) Gr. φαεθων phaethōn  sun  < φαω phaō  to shine (Gr. myth. Phaëthon, the disobedient son of Phoebus or Sol, the Sun, and the Oceanid Clymene); “Linnaeus bestowed upon it the generic term  ...  in allusion to its attempts to follow the path of the sun” (Newton & Gadow 1896) (see Phaetusa); "67. PHAËTHON.  Rostrum cultratum, rectum, acuminatum. Fauce pone rostrum hiante.  Nares oblongæ, postice membrana semitectæ.  Digiti postici antrorsum versi.  ...  Habitat in Pelago inter tropicos." (Linnaeus 1758); "Phaëthon Linné, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, 1, 1758, p. 134. Type, by subsequent designation, Phaëthon æthereus Linné (Gray, List Gen. Bds., 1840, p. 80.)" (Peters 1931, I, 77). Linnaeus's Phaethon comprised two species (P. æthereus, P. demersus).  
Var. Phaeton.
Synon. Leptophaethon, Lepturus, Phoenicurus, Scaeophaethon, Tropicophilus.

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 15 December 2018).