Black-bellied Tree-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) Science Article 1


There are two distinguishable subspecies of the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, one in South America to eastern Panama and one from western Panama through Central America to the southernmost United States. The type locality of the species is the West Indies, but there is little evidence that birds from that area are anything but vagrants or birds imported from South America. All records of this species in the West Indies are attributable to the subspecies that occurs naturally in South America. The plate and description on which the name of the species is based seem to be of the South American form.It thus becomes clear that the South American and West Indian populations of Black-bellied Whistling-Duck must bear the name Dendrocygna autumnalis autumnalis (Linnaeus) 1758 and that Dendrocygna discolor Sclater and Salvin 1873 is a junior synonym. The earliest available name for the birds north of Panama is D. a. fulgens Friedmann 1947, of which D. a. lucida Friedmann 1947 is a synonym

RICHARD C. BANKS, The Auk: Vol. 95, No. 2

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