This petrel is named for the HMS Herald, the ship that carried the naturalist who first collected the species. The taxonomy of this species is very much in flux. The Atlantic and Indian Ocean population is arminjoniana, also known as the Trinidade Petrel. The Pacific population is heraldica, the true Herald Petrel. In the Pacific it has been recently recognized that dark and pale morphs in fact behave as different species, so the dark birds have been separated as the Henderson Petrel (Pterodroma atrata). The taxonomy used here is provisional, it is quite likely that Trinidade and Herald Petrels deserve to be separated as different species. Note that due to the separation of the dark Henderson Petrel, Pacific populations of Herald are now thought to only occur as a pale morph. This is in contrast to the Atlantic Trinidade which occurs as pale and dark morphs. Trinidade Petrels breed off Brazil, Pacific Heralds do not breed near the Americas.