Splits, reshuffles and renaming of the plovers and two thick-knees

You will probably now be aware that the Lesser Sand Plover has been split into two species, meaning Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus becomes Siberian Sand Plover C. mongolus and Tibetan Sand Plover C. atrifrons… or does it?

‘Fraid not! There has also been a major change affecting many of the birds in the huge genus of Charadrius. Some, but not the majority, will continue to be Charadrius (Linnaeus 1758), but that will now only apply to the following species;

In addition the following will change to Charadrius

The majority of the remainder of the plover species, those listed below, have now been given a new genus name and that is Anarhynchus! If you are familiar with the scientific names of birds you may well be aware that this is the genus given to the Wrybill A. frontalis. It comes from the Greek ana meaning backwards and rhunkhos meaning bill, referring to the unique right-bending bill of the species. It seems odd then that this genus now applies to a huge swathe of plovers. The reason is of course that the earliest name applied to any taxon in science takes precedent, therefore, since all these birds are closely related to the Wrybill genetically, and Charadrius, which is older (Charadrius; Linnaeus, 1758 – Anarhynchus; Quoy Gaimard 1830), is already taken the first genus available is Anarhynchus. So, therefore we now have in the Anarhyncos genus in addition to Wrybill;

Staying with the plovers, quite recently the Eurasian Dotterel was moved to Charadrius from its own genus Eudromias (Brehm 1830 – from the Greek eudromia meaning swiftness, referring to the fast pace at which the bird runs). That has now been reversed and so reinstating Eudromias morinellus. The same applies to the Rufous-chested Dotterel only relatively recently added to Charadrius and now removed back to a former genus; Zonibyx (Reichenbach, H.G.L. 1853 – Greek zone band or girdle and Modern Latin ibyx lapwing). In the same vein the Inland Dotterel has reverted from its new Charadrius status to Peltohyas (Greek; pelte small rimless shield; hyas from Greek mythology Hyas was a water-spirit; Sharpe 1896) as Peltohyas australis.

The Pied Lapwing has moved from Vanellus, so is therefore now a Pied Plover (Brisson 1760) and back to its own genus and thus; Hoploxypterus cayanus (Hoploxypterus Bonaparte 1856 – Greek; hoplon meaning weapon, oxus meaning sharp and – pterus meaning -winged referring to the sharp spurs at the bend in the wing of this species allying it to a number of lapwings).

The remaining plovers not mentioned all retain their current status; lapwings Vanellus, Red-kneed Dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus, tundra plovers Pluvialis, Diademed Sandpiper-plover Phegornis mitchellii, Tawny-throated Dotterel Oreopholus ruficollis.

Other changes involve the two South American thick-knees namely, Double-striped and Peruvian. Hitherto they have both been considered to be Burhinus (Illiger 1811) along with many of the thick-knees and stone-curlews, however the new treatment separated them into a shared new genus Hesperoburhinus (Černý, van Els, Natale & Gregory 2023 from the Greek hespero western, bous ox and rhis nose). This being a nod to them being the only species of the family in the western hemisphere.

These changes have already been Implemented on the website.