Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Taxon of the Day: Bostrychia hagedash

Bostrychia hagedash
Bostrychia hagedash

Today's Taxon of the Day picture was taken by Alastair Culham on the grounds of the Safari Park Hotel in Kenya, whilst representing i4Life at the IST Africa Conference last month. The Bostrychia hagedash (Latham, 1790) or Hadeda Ibis is a fairly common bird with a large range,  inhabiting nearly all of Sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of five Bostrychia species found in the family Threskiornithidae.  This particular species has dark brownish-grey feathers with a distinctive bright green iridescence on the wing.

The common name Hadeda derives from an imitation of the bird's distinctive call (haa-haa-haa-de-dah) and the etymology and mythology of Ibis, dates back to Egyptian times, but today is used as a collective term for a number of long-legged wading birds characterized by a long, thin, downward-curved bill. 
An interesting account of its type specimen can be found online at the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a organisation that uses the Catalogue of Life as part of its search functionality - where a search on species name will look for all resources where the name or its synonyms are mentioned in the text.

All five species of Bostrychia with associated infraspecific taxa, synonyms and common names can be found in the Catalogue of Life. 

CoL Annual Checklist Page: Bostrychia hagedash
CoL Contributor: ITIS Global
Image copyright: Alastair Culham

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