The type specimen of the Mindanao Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba crinigera was acquired on Jolo in the Sulu Archipelago, southern Philippines, but a presumption of biogeographic improbability led to the type locality being “corrected” to Mindanao. Birds from Basilan, geographically interposed between Mindanao and Jolo, have been separated as G. c. bartletti chiefly for their smaller size, but comparison with the type of crinigera is impossible owing to the latter’s lack of outer primaries and tail; in any case bartletti and Mindanao crinigera overlap strongly in size and differ in no diagnostic plumage feature so that bartletti is probably invalid. Given that a Gallicolumba was seen in the wild on Jolo in the nineteenth century, at least five slightly different taxonomic arrangements are possible depending on viewpoint. Reversion of type locality to Jolo would be destabilising at this stage, but it is plausible that the type of crinigera did in fact derive from native birds on Jolo. Resolution of the issue might still be possible, as a local man recently reported that a bird resembling G. crinigera survives on the island.

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Zoologische Mededelingen

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Naturalis journals & series

Collar, N. J. (2006). Systematic notes on Asian birds. 59. Taxonomy as tar-baby: the type locality and nomenclature of the Mindanao Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba crinigera (Pucheran, 1853). Zoologische Mededelingen, 80(5), 193–202.