Ninox fusca Vieillot,

Jansen, Justin J. F. J., 2017, Rene Mauge's ornithological collections from Kupang Bay, West-Timor, Indonesia, August-November 1801, with special regard to type-specimens, Zoosystematics and Evolution 93 (2), pp. 467-492: 472

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Ninox fusca Vieillot


Ninox fusca Vieillot 

Ninox fusca  Vieillot, 1817, Nouv. Dict. Nat. éd. 7: 22 (Saint-Domingue and Porto-Rico).

Ninox boobook fusca  (Vieillot, 1817). See Sharpe 1875: 256 and Voisin and Voisin 2011: 24-25. - Now.

Type materials.

SYNTYPE: MNHN-ZO-2010-277 [ MNHN A.C. 784], female, near Kupang Bay, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, West-Timor (10°11'0"S; 123°35'0"E), between 22 August and 13 November 1801, by René Maugé.

Pedestal underside: Strix maugei  / Tem. / Expédition du Cap. Baudin / en Amérique aux Antilles / tué par Maugé / Strix  fusca  , Vieillot / L. renseigt d. localit. / me parait fort / douteux / Athene boobook  / Lath. / vient / d’Australie / et nondes Antilles / [illegible]. Pedestal label: Athene boobook  ♀ / Latham / Maugé Australie.


The type description lists the wrong collecting location (Saint-Domingue and Porto-Rico) and it refers to two specimens. In the catalogue, notes can be found under the old registration number MNHN A.C. 783 (= MNHN-ZO-2010-276) stating that this specimen represents the type for Ninox fusca  (Vieillot 1817) and Ninox maugei  (Temminck 1823). And for the MNHN A.C. 784 (= MNHN-ZO-2010-277) it is noted as Ninox boobook  (Latham 1801). Measurements taken on 25 April 2017 (Jerome Fuchs in litt.) show that MNHN-ZO-2010-277 has a wing-length of 220 mm. And the female MNHN-ZO-2010-276 has an average wing-length of 251 mm (left 250, right 252). Identifiying MNHN-ZO-2010-277 with plumage characters and measurements as Ninox boobook fusca  and MNHN-ZO-2010-276 as Ninox boobook boobook  .

Both specimens are the only ‘old’ Australian-Timor specimens in the MNHN and both specimens were listed as having been collected in the Antilles. These notes are attached to the wrong specimen. The only similair owls from the Antilles and Puerto Rico in the museum at that moment with which they could have been confused, were the Puerto Rican Screech-owl Megascops nudipes  (Daudin 1800) ( MNHN-ZO-MO-2010-272, MNHN-ZO-MO-201-273) and the Tropical Screech-owl Otus choliba crucigerus  (Spix 1824) ( MNHN-ZO-MO-2010-287) although neither match the description. Erroneous notes were clearly taken by Vieillot. Therefore, the syntype status as noted in Voisin and Voisin 2011: 24-25 needs to be corrected for specimen MNHN-ZO-2010-276. The type localities are erroneous (Saint-Domingue and Porto-Rico), and therefore corrected and restricted to: West-Timor, near Kupang Bay (article 76a.2.A (ICZN 1999)). Vieillot named this species fusca  or ‘dusky’ ( Jobling 2017).