atom feed145 messages in edu.ku.nhm.mailman.taxacomRe: [Taxacom] Does the species name h...
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Roderic PageJun 18, 2012 11:18 am 
Quicke, Donald L JJun 18, 2012 11:45 am 
Frederick W. SchuelerJun 18, 2012 11:57 am 
Roderic PageJun 18, 2012 12:51 pm 
Roderic PageJun 18, 2012 12:51 pm 
Karen CranstonJun 18, 2012 1:09 pm 
Roderic PageJun 18, 2012 1:25 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 1:35 pm 
Chris ThompsonJun 18, 2012 2:28 pm 
Roger BurksJun 18, 2012 2:30 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 2:42 pm 
Doug YanegaJun 18, 2012 2:55 pm 
Vladimir GusarovJun 18, 2012 2:57 pm 
Roderic PageJun 18, 2012 3:02 pm 
Neal EvenhuisJun 18, 2012 3:11 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 3:14 pm 
David CampbellJun 18, 2012 3:17 pm 
Doug YanegaJun 18, 2012 3:23 pm 
Roderic PageJun 18, 2012 3:34 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 3:48 pm 
Roderic PageJun 18, 2012 3:51 pm 
Roderic PageJun 18, 2012 3:58 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 3:58 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 4:07 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 4:20 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 4:52 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 4:53 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 4:56 pm 
Bob MesibovJun 18, 2012 5:04 pm 
Chris ThompsonJun 18, 2012 5:32 pm 
James K AdamsJun 18, 2012 6:58 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 7:01 pm 
brpa...@dwu.eduJun 18, 2012 7:02 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 7:07 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 7:09 pm 
Tony...@csiro.auJun 18, 2012 7:17 pm 
Bob MesibovJun 18, 2012 8:46 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 9:01 pm 
Anne EdwardsJun 18, 2012 9:29 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 18, 2012 9:48 pm 
Stephen ThorpeJun 19, 2012 12:04 am 
Paul KirkJun 19, 2012 12:04 am 
Richard PyleJun 19, 2012 12:05 am 
Stephen ThorpeJun 19, 2012 12:07 am 
Stephen ThorpeJun 19, 2012 12:10 am 
Paul KirkJun 19, 2012 12:15 am 
99 later messages
Subject:Re: [Taxacom] Does the species name have to change when it moves genus?
From:Roderic Page (r.p@bio.gla.ac.uk)
Date:Jun 18, 2012 3:51:59 pm
List:edu.ku.nhm.mailman.taxacom

Dear David,

I'm not arguing we turn back the clock and rename Triceratops horridus. Let's
freeze it and if someone thinks it belongs someplace else in the tree let's
always call it "Triceratops horridus" ( realise that this may well happen anyway
given that T. horridus is the type species
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511608377.021 , but I hope you see my point).

It also seems to me that a number of people on this list think that
non-specialists are only going to be interested in a few taxa, say those which
have common names. Really? We have genomics databases with hundreds of thousands
of species, specimen databases with millions of species, and people are using
these to tackle all sorts of questions, and taxonomic names (with the variations
in spelling, synonyms, etc.) don't make it easy to work with this data.

Lastly, phylocode define names such that they will always fit on a tree, the
name itself doesn't change even if the phylogeny does (the scope of what is
included in the name may change). In contrast, by convention bionomials do
change when the classification changes, which builds instability into the names.

I've zero expectation that I'm going to convince anyone that this is a sensible
idea, but it seems a good time to question "tradition."

Regards

Rod

On 18 Jun 2012, at 23:17, David Campbell wrote:

Requiring that the original name be a non-homonym would help with relatively few cases in my experience. Usually you have to track down the invalid homonyms anyway to confirm which name was meant in an existing identification. [Hint in light of the fauna I was just working on-if you name a new taxon in a very long established and diverse genus, avoid common Latin descriptors.]

Tradition is a significant factor, given that over 250 years of literature needs to be taken into account. If a genus-species combination were regarded as fixed, then the question would be "which combination?" Probably the majority of species are not assigned to their original genus; many of these recombinations are well-established.

This gets into the Phylocode-ish question of to what extent and in what manner should the taxon name reflect the phylogeny.

Then there's the question of, if a generic and specific epithet pair becomes fixed, how do you indicate revised classifications?

Some original combinations are highly misleading, through homonymy, misidentification, or unduly broad early genus concepts. Changing Triceratops horridus back to Bison horridus would be rather unhelpful, for example.

In fact, the standardized common names being proposed for a number of taxa function as unchanging epithets. They are generally being developed for the taxa most likely to get attention from non-specialists, whereas specialists are likely to recognize suspiciously similar epithets in related taxa.

Including the author and date generally helps, although there are the unhelpful authors who either use the same epithet in closely related genera, have a memory lapse and create an outright homonym, or reuse common descriptors for multiple infraspecific forms within a genus.

-- Dr. David Campbell Collections Assistant The Paleontological Research Institution 1259 Trumansburg Road Ithaca NY 14850

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--------------------------------------------------------- Roderic Page Professor of Taxonomy Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Graham Kerr Building University of Glasgow Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

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