Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology

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MEGALAMPITTA

(Megalampittidae; Ϯ Greater Melampitta M. gigantea) "Genus Megalampitta, genus novum   Type species: Mellopitta gigantea Rothschild, 1899  ...  Nomenclature. The generic name Mellopitta Stejneger, 1885, is a synonym of Melampitta Schlegel, 1871, of which the type species is Melampitta lugubris Schlegel. The name Megalampitta, although drawing on Melampitta and megas [μεγας], Greek for large, is to be treated as an arbitrary combination of letters, not as a Latin or Greek word (Art. 30.1.4.1 of the Code); its gender is assigned here as feminine (Art. 30.2.2 of the Code)" (Schodde & Christidis 2014) (see Melampitta).

MELAMPITTA

(Melampittidae; Ϯ Lesser Melampitta M. lugubris) Gr. μελαμ- melam-  black  <  μελας melas, μελανος melanos  black; genus Pitta Vieillot, 1816, pitta; "MELAMPITTA LUGUBRIS, SCHLEGEL.  -  M. VON ROSENBERG nous à addressé, sous le nom de Pitta lugubris, le mâle adulte d'un oiseau recueilli dans l'intérieur de la grande presqu'île septentrionale de la Nouvelle-Guinée. Cet oiseau paraît, en effet, occuper une place dans le voisinage des Pitta; mais comme il s'en éloigne tout-à-fait par son système de coloration, par les plumes en velours de sa face, et par ses ailes courtes, très-arrondies et excessivement voûtées, nous avons cru devoir ériger, en sa faveur, un sous-genre particulier.  ...  Des plumes noires un peu en velours garnissent le front, un large tour de l'oeil, les freins, la base des mandibules et le menton. Tout le reste du plumage est d'un noir tirant un peu sur le bleu" (Schlegel 1871). Because of their plump bodies, short tails, and long legs the two New Guinea melampittas were originally placed in the Pittidae, although their true position is nearer the mudnesters Corcoracidae and the birds-of-paradise Paradisaeidae. Recent work indicates that each species is deserving of family rank (see Megalampitta).
Synon. Coracocichla, Coracopitta.

Melanopitta

(syn. Pitta Ϯ Hooded Pitta P. sordida) Gr. μελας melas, μελανος melanos  black; genus Pitta Vieillot, 1816, pitta; "e. Melanopitta, Bp.  -  194. cucullata, Hartl.  -  195. forsteni, Bp.  -  196. mulleri, Bp.  -  197. novæ-guineæ, Schlegel.  -  198. atricapilla, Cuv." (Bonaparte 1854).

Mellopitta

(syn. Melampitta Ϯ Lesser Melampitta M. lugubris) Gr. μελλο- mello-  about to be  < μελλω mellō  to be likely; genus Pitta Vieillot, 1816, pitta; "It has been suggested by Mr. J. Gould that the curious Mellopitta (or Melampitta) lugubris from New Guinea, with its velvety feathers on the face, might form the transition from the foregoing family [Philepittidæ] to that of the PITTIDÆ which are often called the 'Old World ant-thrushes,' but its anatomy is yet unknown, and we, therefore, leave it with the latter, at least provisionally." (Stejneger 1885).

Monilipitta

(syn. Erythropitta Ϯ Blue-banded Pitta E. arquata) L. monile, monilis  necklace; genus Pitta Vieillot, 1816, pitta; "[subgenus] Monilipitta.  b". Bright blue pectoral scolloped band . . .21. P. arcuata.  ...  PITTA ARCUATA. NECKLACED PITTA.  ...  Forehead, lores, and throat reddish buff; crown, nape, and breast rich rusty red; over (but posteriorly to) the eye a lovely stripe of blue, as in P. granatina; a broken tooth-like bar of the same beautiful hue across the breast, separating the rich rusty red of the chest from the deep scarlet of the abdomen" (Elliot 1893).

Ornatipitta

(syn. Hydrornis Ϯ Banded Pitta H. guajana) L. ornatus  adorned  < ornare  to adorn; genus Pitta Vieillot, 1816, pitta; "EUCICHLA.   Ornatipitta.  ...  E. guaiana.  ...  E. boschi.  ...  E. schwaneri" (Elliot 1893).

PHILEPITTA

(Philepittidae; Ϯ Velvet Asity P. castanea) Portmanteau of genera Philedon Cuvier, 1817, friarbird, and Pitta Vieillot, 1816, pitta; “Genre PHILÉPITTE, PHILEPITTA.  L'auteur compare successivement ce genre aux Brèves (Pitta), aux Martins, à divers sous-genres de Muscicapidés, et aux Philédons. Suivant M. Isidore Geoffroy, c'est près de ces derniers qu'il doit prendre rang.  ... PHILÉPITTE VÉLOUTÉE, Philepitta sericea” (I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1839); "Philepitta Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, 1838, Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci. Paris, 6, p. 440. Type, by monotypy, Philepitta sericea Geoffroy St.-Hilaire = P. castanea P. L. S. Müller." (Amadon in Peters 1979, VIII, 330). Recent research indicates that the Velvet Asity and its allies may be aberrant broadbills Eurylaimidae.
Var. Philopitta
Synon. Brissonia, Buddinghia, Paictes.

PITTA

(Pittidae; Ϯ Indian Pitta P. brachyura) Telugu Dravidian name pitta pretty bauble or pet; "137. BRÈVE, PittaCorvus, Linn. Gm. Lath.   Bec robuste, un peu épais à la base, droit, convexe en dessus, comprimé, pointu; mandibule supérieure échancrée vers le bout; l'inférieure entière, égale. — Ailes longues. — Queue courte.   Esp. Brève, Buff." (Vieillot 1816); "Pitta Vieillot, 1816, Analyse, p. 42. Type, by subsequent designation (G. R. Gray, 1855, Cat. Genera Subgenera Birds, p. 43), Corvus triostegus Sparrman = Corvus brachyurus Linnaeus." (Mayr in Peters 1979, VIII, 310).   
Var. Pelta.   
Synon. Austropitta, Brachyurus, Calopitta, Cervinipitta, Citta, Coloburis, Cyanopitta, Galeripitta, Melanopitta, Merula, Pulchripitta.

PITTASOMA

(Conopophagidae; Ϯ Black-crowned Pittasoma P. michleri) Genus Pitta Vieillot, 1816, pitta; Gr. σωμα sōma, σωματος sōmatos  body; "Genus PITTASOMA, nobis.  General aspect of Conopophaga, Vieillot, but larger, and bearing about the same relation to that genus as Grallaria, Vieillot, does to Grallaricula, Sclater. Also resembling Pitta, Vieillot, but differing from all the genera here mentioned, except Conopophaga, in having the bill wide and depressed, not compressed.  Form robust, wings short, concave, rounded, fifth, sixth and seventh quills longest; tail very short; bill strong, wide at base and narrowing gradually, depressed, upper mandible notched near the tip, and with the culmen distinct, a few rudimentary bristles at base; nostrils oval, inserted in a large membrane; legs long, very strong, tarsus with about five large scales in front, which become nearly integral on the outside, and quite so behind; toes moderate; claws curved, sharp.    90. PITTASOMA MICHLERI, nobis.  ...  This is the most remarkable bird in the collection of the expedition, and is one of the most handsome of the Ant Thrushes, if indeed to that group it and the genus Conopophaga belong. Though with the general form and appearance of Pitta and Grallaria, this bird differs from them in having a very strong depressed and rather wide bill, not compressed as in those genera. In this respect, and other structural characters, it approximates to Conopophaga, and also in having more variegated and agreeable colors than in Grallaria. This bird is in fact, the most handsome bird of its group yet discovered in America.   ...   This handsome bird I have named in honor of the commanding officer of the expedition, Lieut. N. Michler, of the U.S. Topographical Engineers" (Cassin 1860). Until recently the pittasomas or gnatpittas were regarded as members of the Grallariidae.
Synon. Calobamon.

Pseudopitta

(syn. Amalocichla Ϯ Lesser Ground-robin A. incerta) Gr. ψευδος pseudos  false; genus Pitta Vieillot, 1816, pitta; "Pseudopitta n. g.  Typ.: Eupetes incertus Salvadori.  Diese Art weicht vom Gepräge der Gattung Eupetes in Form und Färbung doch so bedeutend ab, daß sie generisch gesondert werden muß. Die Läufe sind auffallend lang, länger als die doppelte Schnabellänge, dagegen ist der stufig gerundete Schwanz wesentlich kürzer als die Flügellänge" (Reichenow 1915).

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