Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/postcard/?comic=3643
Extracted from the original commentary document by: aliyaist
The author writes:
Thanks to all the readers who sent in competing field guides that contradicted what mine wrote.
I've looked online and it turns out the edition I purchased is apparently notorious for this particular error, thanks to a mistranslation from the original Tongan. It seems to show up on quite a lot of "5 most hilarious field guide errors" listicles. (I was already familiar with some of the others, of course - there's the famous 2002 guide written by Colin McGrath that misidentified the mating call of the Arctic tern, and Fonseca and Carolino's 1855 treatise that accidentally classified the red-vented bulbul in the upright piano family.)