Lophophanes cristatus scotica Pražák, Prazak

Mlíkovský, Jiří, 2011, Nomenclatural and taxonomic status of bird taxa (Aves) described by an ornithological swindler, Josef Prokop Pražák (1870 – 1904), Zootaxa 3005, pp. 45-68: 56-57

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.202788

persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Lophophanes cristatus scotica Pražák


Lophophanes cristatus scotica Pražák  

[ Lophophanes cristatus   ] scotica Pražák, 1897 e: 347, footnote.

NOW. Parus cristatus scoticus Pražák, 1898   . See Hartert (1905: 365, 1907b: 215), Dudley et al. (2006: 555) and Forrester et al. (2007).

Syntypes ( NMS.Z.1888.84.46): Three specimens from Robert Gray Collection; collected on unknown date and at unknown locality. Two of them (both labeled scoticus) are still deposited at NMS, while one was donated to another museum in 1916 (B. McGowan, in litt. 2010).

Syntype ( NMS.Z.1891.89.2): Specimen from William Evans, collected on 21 August 1891 at “Speyside [= Strathspey, Scotland, an area along the River Spey, centered at Grantown-on-Spey; 57.32 °N, 03.62°W]. Not found in 2010; already not listed in a ledger book compiled around 1910 (B. McGowan, in litt. 2010).

Syntype (?): Specimen collected in January 1897 in Rothiemurchus, Scotland [57.13 °N, 03.85°W]. Not catalogued, exchanged to MRSN (B. McGowan, in litt. 2010), where it was not found in the 1980 s ( Elter 1986).

Remarks. Pražák (1897 e: 347, footnote) said that he based this form on “die schottischen Exemplare” (“the Scottish specimens”), without explanation. The NHMW and VTH had no Parus cristatus   from Scotland when Pražák studied tits there in 1893–1895. However, Pražák (1897 e: 347, footnote) added the description of scotica during proofreading of the second part of his forthcoming treatise of the birds of Austrian East Galicia (published in the July issue of Journal für Ornithologie), when he worked in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is thus highly probable that Pražák based his scotica on specimens he examined in NMS, where the five specimens listed above could have been at his disposal (B. McGowan, in litt. 2010). Of these, four specimens were catalogued and Pražák may well have seen them. However, the Rothiemurchus specimen was not catalogued and it is thus uncertain whether Pražák examined it. Thus, I consider the three Gray specimens and the Evans specimen as syntypes of Lophophanes cristatus scotica Pražák. The   type status of the Rothiemurchus specimen is uncertain.

Pražák (1898 a: 347, footnote) spoke about “Scottish” specimens, which makes Scotland the type locality. Clancey (1948: 108) restricted the type locality to “Strath Spey, Scotland ”. None of the four syntypes bears an exact locality. However, Lophophanes cristatus scoticus (Pražák)   is a range-restricted subspecies whose range includes the region of Strathspey, Scotland ”. Nevertheless, there is nothing in Pražák’s writings and nothing in NMS files (B. McGowan, in litt. 2010) that would allow restriction of the type locality of this form to Strathspey. Clancey’s (1948) restriction is thus invalid and the type locality of Lophophanes cristatus scotica Pražák   continues to be the whole range of the subspecies.


National Museum of Scotland - Natural Sciences


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien














Lophophanes cristatus scotica Pražák

Mlíkovský, Jiří 2011

Lophophanes cristatus

Prazak 1897: 347