Stumberger, B. & M. Ritter
(* = Kurzbeitrag)
Der «Adria-Fahlsegler» Apus pallidus illyricus: Wie Europas Festlandendemit entdeckt und vergessen wurde.
(von 1994 bis 2006 vergeben)
Taxonomie, Kennzeichen, Merkmale, Bestimmung, Unterart, Geschichte, Typusexemplar, Museum, Verbreitung
Apus pallidus illyricus, Apus apus
Adria, Balkan, Slowenien, Kroatien, Bosnien-Herzegowina, Serbien, Montenegro, Griechenland, Italien
Endemic «Adriatic Pallid Swift» Apus pallidus illyricus: discovered and forgotten. The Pallid Swift Apus pallidus has already been described by Shelley in 1870, but the species was only hesitantly accepted until the middle of the 20th century. In 1907, Viktor von Tschusi described the subspecies illyricus, the «Adriatic Pallid Swift», whose history of discovery and area this article attempts to reconstruct. A first, intensive collecting phase starting in 1899 declined in the years of the First World War and was only continued in the 1960s due to a renewed interest in this taxon, which soon subsided again. There are currently 37 Pallid Swift specimens of the subspecies illyricus distributed among 11 European museums, which come from 15 sites.
Whether this taxon is an allelic colour variant or an independent species cannot be decided today without further analysis. Although the occurrence of Pallid Swifts has been confirmed in the last two to three decades in more and more inland areas of the Western Balkans, illyricus is an endemic taxon with a surprisingly limited area and a small total population. In-depth research would be useful.
Discovery, first description and the slow acceptance of the subspecies, which lasted several decades, form a vivid example of the relationship between museum and field ornithology. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many often geographically restricted subspecies were described, but not all of them were generally accepted. Methodological, nomenclatural and political reasons are responsible for this and resulted in complex interactions between the people involved. The case of the «Adriatic Pallid Swift» is thus an illustrative example for this more personal side of scientific ornithology.
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