Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology

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ambigua / ambiguum / ambiguus

L. ambiguus  doubtful, uncertain  < ambigere  to doubt  < preposition  ambi-  around; agere  to set in motion.
● ex “Grand Ara militaire” of Levaillant 1801, who was uncertain as to whether the Great Green Macaw was distinct from the Military Macaw A. militaris or just a constant variety (Ara).
● Despite an apparent series of transitional specimens between the Black-headed Greenfinch and the Oriental Greenfinch C. sinica, Oustalet 1896, still believed them to be two distinct spp. (Chloris).
● “Similar to S. r. rufifrons  ...  Distribution, — Probably Sikhim, Butan Duars, Assam, Naga Hills and Manipur” (Harington 1915) (subsp. Cyanoderma rufifrons).
● “While it is practically certain that this new bird is a conspecies of M. sclateri, the wide gap in the distribution of the two forms with no close relative known from the intervening area makes me hesitate to unite them at present” ( J. Zimmer 1932) (Myrmotherula).
● “Doubtful Toucan ... The species now selected is one I have never seen; but I have no doubt of its existence, and little of the accuracy of its delineation” (Swainson 1823) (Ramphastos).
● “This Bird is very nearly related to Trog. elegans ... These distinctions, although apparently trivial, having been observed ... in many specimens ... he is induced to regard the two Birds as being, very probably, specifically distinct” (Gould 1835) (Trogon).