SPERMOPHAGA

(Estrildidae; Ϯ Western Bluebill S. haematina) Gr. σπερμα sperma,  σπερματος spermatos  seed  < σπειρω speirō  to scatter; -φαγος
-phagos  -eating  < φαγειν phagein  to eat; "BLUE BILLED NUT CRACKER.  Spermophaga cyanorynchus, SWAINS.  ...  Loxia hæmatina, Vieillot, Ois. Chant. Pl. 67.-- Loxia guttata, ib. 68.  ALTHOUGH the two birds we shall now describe under the above name have been considered different species, we strongly suspect they will turn out to be sexes of only one. Their size and proportions are precisely the same, while the very remarkable colour of the bill, exactly alike in both, still further  strengthens this belief.   ...  The colouring is simple,-- that of the bill is very peculiar in some lights; at a distance it appears almost black; when viewed more closely, however,  it becomes of the darkest indigo-blue, but with reflections of a much lighter colour, nearly resembling ultramarine, the tips being rich orange." (Swainson 1837 (Nat. Hist Bds. Western Africa)); "Spermophaga, Sw.   Bill moderate, conic, but rather lengthened; upper mandible thicker than the under; the tip entire; the commissure sinuated. Wings and tail much rounded; the first quill fully developed, but only half as long as the fifth.   Africa.  S. cyanorynchus. West. Af. i. 164.  Vieil. Ois. Chant. pl. 67, 68." (Swainson 1837 (Nat. Hist. Classification Bds.)); "Spermophaga Swainson, 1837, Birds W. Africa, 1, p. 164. Type, by monotypy, Spermophaga cyanorynchus Swainson = Loxia haematina Vieillot." (Traylor in Peters 1968, XIV, 321).
Synon. Spermospiza.

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 13 December 2018).