Entry on the Spix’s Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii)

in the Catalogue of the Psittaci, or Parrots in the Collection of the British Museum(page 150) by Count Tommaso SALVADORI published in 1891

The Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum - a landmark in the history of ornithology - was produced under the editorship of Richard Bowdler Sharpe and published in 27 volumes between 1874 and 1898 by order of the Trustees. Although the original plan was that Bowdler Sharpe should produce the entire work, this proved impossible and he was therefore assisted by ten well-known ornitholgists - Gadow, Hargitt, Hartert, Oglivie-Grant, Salvadori, Salvin, Saunders, Sclater, Seebohm and Shelley. The entire work when completed described 11,617 species distributed over 2,255 genera.

Count Tommaso Salvadori (1835-1923), who worked at the Zoological Museum in Turin, Italy, was responsible for Volume 20 dedicated to parrots and Volume 21 on pigeons. According to the introduction to Volume 20 he was asked by Albert Günther, Keeper of the Department of Zoology, to undertake the production of the work in the spring of 1889. He finished at the end of 1891 after two and a half years labour. The British Museum held 5,113 specimens belonging to 450 species. He had access to an additional 49 species in Italian collections, thus 499 species are described including 13 for the first time. There were also 14 species and subspecies he was unable to identify.

Page 150


Macrocercus, subgen. Cyanopsitta, Bp. Rev. et Mag.de

Zool. 1854, P.149....................................................Type:C. spixi.

Range. Province of Bahia.

1. Cyanopsittacus spixi.

Arara hyacinthinus, Spix (nec Lath.), Av. Bras. i. p. 25 (1824).

Ara hyacinthinus, Spix (nec Lath), Av. Bras. i. tab. xxiii: (1824).

Sittace spixii, Wagl. Mon. Psitt, p. 675 (1832); Finsch, Papag. i. p. 393 (1867), ii. 2, p. 942 (1868); Pelz.Orn. Bras. p. 254 (note) (1871) ; Gieb.Thes.Orn. iii. p.497 (1877) ; Rchnw. Journ. f. Orn.1881, p.266 (Consp. Psitt. p.154); id. Vogelbild. Nachtr.72 (1883).

Psittacus hyacinthinus, Hahn (nec Lath.), Orn. Atl., Papag. p. 40, t.25 (1834).

Psittacara glauca minor, var. A, Bourj. Perr. pl.15 (1887-38).

Arara hyacinthiacus, Brehm, Mon. d. Papag. t. 6 (l842).

Ara spixii, G. R. Gr. Gen. B. ii. p.412, n.13 (1845); id. List Psitt. Brit. Mus. p. 30 (1859); Sclat. & Salv. Nomencl. Av. Neotrop. p.111 (1873); Sclat. P. Z.. S.1878, p.976, pl.1xi.,1879, pp. 300, 651; Forbes, Ibis,1881, p. 316; ? Garlepp, Journ. f. Orn. 1889, p.290.

Macrocercus (Cyanopsitta) spixi, Bp. Rev. et Mag. de Zool.1854, p.149, n.3; Souancé, Rev. et Mag. de Zool,1856, pp.56,57.

Arara spixi, Bp. Naumannia, l856, Consp. Psitt. no. 4; G. R. Gr. Hand-List, ii p.145, n.8089 (1870).

Macrocercus spixii, Burm. Syst. Ueb. ii. p.160 (1856).

Adult male. General colour blue, head and neck greyish blue, forehead and ear-coverts more grey; feathers of the back and rump, upper and under tail-coverts, and upper wing-coverts with narrow paler edges; breast and abdomen with a slight greenish tinge, each feather with paler edges; inner web of the quills, greater under wing-coverts, quills and tail-feathers underneath blackish: iris light yellow; naked skin round the eyes (and naked lores) black (Sclater); bill black; feet blackish. Total length about 22 inches, wing 11, tail 13·5, bill 1·4, tarsus 0·8.

Female. Like the male, only somewhat smaller.

Hab. Rio San Francisco, prov. of Bahia (Spix).

a. Ad. sk. Brazil. Massena Coll.

b. Female ad. sk. Brazil (Zool. Soc. Gard.). Sclater Coll.

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