Sturnus vulgaris intermedius Pražák,

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: 61

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Sturnus vulgaris intermedius Pražák


Sturnus vulgaris intermedius Pražák 

Sturnus vulgaris intermedius Pražák, 1895 c: 144  .

NOW. Sturnus vulgaris vulgaris Linnaeus, 1758  . See Hartert (1903: 41), Pateff (1947).

Syntype. NHMW uncatalogued (Tschusi 2938), 3, collected on 3 March 1883 at Hallein. Note that this is the only specimen (of those available in the NHMW), in which colors described by Pražák (violet head and kin vs. greenish ear coverts) are visible.

Syntype. NHMW 63671 (Tschusi 2943), 3, collected on 16 September 1893 at Hallein.

Syntype. NHMW 63674 (Tschusi 2944), Ƥ, collected on 3 March 1883 at Hallein.

Syntype. NHMW 63677 (Tschusi 2939), 3, collected on 3 March 1883 at Hallein.

Syntype. NHMW 63685 (Tschusi 2949), juv., collected on 13 September 1893 at Hallein.

Syntype. NHMW 63688 (Tschusi 2945), Ƥ, collected on 16 March 1887 at Hallein.

Syntype. NHMW 63689 (Tschusi 2947), 3, collected on 3 March (not 8 March as written on a newer label) 1883 at Hallein.

Syntype. NHMW 63695 (Tschusi 2940), juv., collected on 11 December 1883 at Hallein.

Type series. Pražák (1895 c: 143–144) created his intermedius “an Hand eines reichen Materials” ... “für unseren mittel-europäischen, in der Mitte zwischen vulgaris  und menzbieri stehenden Star” (“on the basis of rich material ... “for our Central European Starlings, which are intermediate between [ Sturnus vulgaris  ] vulgaris  [Linnaeus, 1758] and [ Sturnus vulgaris  ] menzbieri [Sharpe, 1888]”). The NHMW possesses eight specimens of Sturnus vulgaris  received from the VTH, all collected during 1883–1893 at Hallein, Austria, which are labeled as Sturnus vulgaris intermedius  on Tschusi’s old labels. I consider them as syntypes of S. v. intermedius  . The NHMW contains also three juvenile starlings (in unspotted brown spring-summer plumage) collected during 1885–1893 at Hallein ( NHMW 63687, 63692 and 63693). They were originally labeled only as Sturnus vulgaris  , while the subspecies name intermedius was added only later (in red ink). These specimens were probably available to Pražák, but I do not consider them syntypes of S. v. intermedius  , because Pražák made no mention of juvenile birds in their springsummer plumage in the description of the species ( Pražák 1895 c) and the original lack of intermedius on their labels indicates that he did not identify them as S. v. intermedius  . There is no evidence that Pražák (1895 c) identified as S. v. intermedius  more specimens than those listed above as syntypes.

Pražák (1895 c: 144) described the occurrence of his S. v. intermedius  as follows: “Diese Form [....] ist die einzige, die in Böhmen vorkommt; ähnliche Vögel sah ich auch aus Mähren, Oest.-Schlesien, Nieder-Österreich und Galizien.” (“This form [...] is the only one which occurs in Bohemia; I saw similar birds also in Moravia, Austrian Silesia, Lower Austria and [Austrian] Galicia.”). However, all known syntypes of S. v. intermedius  were collected at Hallein, Salzburg State, Austria [47.68 °N, 13.10 °E]. I thus restrict here the type locality of this form to the latter place. Pateff (1947: 496) incorrectly said that S. v. intermedius  was described from Bohemia.

Härms (1897: 166) argued that S. v. intermedius Pražák, 1896  , represents a valid taxon and synonymized S. v. sophiae Bianki, 1896  , with it. Also Buturlin (1904: 207) accepted Pražák’s intermedius as valid. Hartert (1903: 42) and Pateff (1947) synonymized Sturnus vulgaris intermedius Pražák  with the nominotypical Sturnus vulgaris vulgaris Linnaeus, 1758  (see also Folk et al. 1965). My re-examination of the NHMW syntypes supports their opinion.


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien














Sturnus vulgaris intermedius Pražák

Mlíkovský, Jiří 2011

Sturnus vulgaris intermedius Pražák, 1895 c : 144

Prazak 1895: 144