|Abstract||The family of the Zosteropidae encloses, besides the very large and uniform genus Zosterops, a number of aberrant forms, especially in the East Indian Archipelago, that, though doubtless closely related to Zosterops, are too distinct to be united with this genus without objection.|
Several authors have engaged themselves with the problem of the classification of these forms, without arriving at a definite conclusion (cf.
Hartert, 1897, Lophozosterops; Stresemann, 1940, p. 66, Pseudo zosterops).
The inclusion of many of these forms in the genus Zosterops, as propagated by Hartert, and by Chasen (1935), is no final solution either, and later workers, such as Delacour & Mayr (1946), Delacour (1946), and Voous (1948), investigators who are certainly not in favour of unnecessary splitting of genera, place several species in a separate genus, Apoia (A. goodfellowi, A. javanica, A. squamifrons).
In the present paper a preliminary effort is made to arrive at a natural classification of these forms.
I am well aware that the recognition of several monotypic genera, as here proved necessary, is not attractive to ornithologists, but the alternative suggested by Stresemann (1940), and put into practice by others, to unite all these species with Zosterops, seems more objectionable, not only because of the disturbance in the homogeneity of the compact genus Zosterops, but also because of the fact that the relations that certainly do exist between several of the "aberrant" forms would be completely obscured by such an act.
The existence of these relations has not always been clearly recognised, as shown by the diverging generic names used for certain species.
It would lead to useless repetition to give complete descriptions of all the