Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology
(Anatidae; Ϯ Blue Duck H. malacorhynchos) Gr. ὑμην humēn, ὑμενος humenos membrane; λαιμος laimos throat; although all early descriptions (e.g. Cook, Latham, Gmelin) refer to the soft bill of this duck, none allude to the membraneous upper chin; "AMONG the ducks described by Latham in his 'Synopsis' is one that he denominated the Soft-billed Duck ... Gmelin was the first to give a scientific name, which he did by translating Latham's, as Anas malacorhynchus ... The Australian soft-billed duck is the type of the genus Malacorhynchus as established by Mr Swainson in 1831. In 1832 Wagler used the same generic name, being unacquainted with the fact that it had been previously employed: he seems to consider the New Zealand bird as the type, but mentioned the Australian one as the second species. This leaves us to conclude that Mr Swainson's genus Malacorhynchus must, by the law of priority, be retained for the Australian Anas membranacea, while a new generic name should be proposed for the New Zealand Anas malacorhynchus ... HYMENOLAIMUS." (G. Gray 1843); "Hymenolaimus G. R. Gray, Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 11, 1843, p. 370. Type, by monotypy, Anas malacorhynchos Gmelin." (Peters 1931, 1, 183).
Gr. ὑμην humēn, ὑμηνος humēnos membrane; λαιμος laimos throat (cf. genus Hymenolaimus G. Gray 1843, blue duck).