Message 2001-06-0101: Re: species names

Fri, 18 May 2001 16:25:39 -0600 (CST)

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Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 16:25:39 -0600 (CST)
From: znc14@TTACS.TTU.EDU
To: Kevin de Queiroz <Dequeiroz.Kevin@NMNH.SI.EDU>
Subject: Re: species names

On Fri, 18 May 2001, Kevin de Queiroz wrote:
[concerning the use of a genus name as the specific epithet for a the type
of a monospecific genus] 
> Jacques Gauthier has also made this point to me several times in conversations.  It is definitely something we should consider when preparing the species part of the PhyloCode.
I am HIGHLY opposed to this sort of proceedure, mostly because there there
are many cases where one man's monotypic genus is another's polytypic
genus, etc. Generic taxonomy is difficult enough without adding this level
of added difficulty.

For those of a dinosaurian bent, an example:
	Some people consider Prosaurolophus to be a dispecific genus (P.
maximus and P. blackfeetensis). Some might consider it a monospecific
genus (including Prosaurolophus maximus = P. blackfeetensis). A few
consider it a junior synonym of Saurolophus (including S. osborni, S.
maximus, and also S. angustirostris... ignoring the dubious s.
kritoswhateveri). This latter genus is its own problem, as it currently
included two widely accepted species, but several of us are of the opinion
that they are probably synonymous.

	To conclude: species should have SPECIES epithets. Trying to
wheedle generic epithets into the species name will add a level of
confusion we don't want. Worse, the arguments this will spawn won't have
any objective meaning, because they will relate to the old, typological
genera. Much as it will mean abandoning cherished genus names (or defining
them in such a way as they end up being monospecific in practice... that
was for you, Keesey), I think it is the most stable and reproduceable way
to go.

	I have been working three jobs and trying to move, so I haven't
had a chance to post to this list on an interim "solution" which occurred
to me in this context: in cases where a genus name is not converted
because it is monotypic, and there exists no defined genus in which to
include it, the unconverted name could be given, preceeded by a sympol
(e.g., #). I prefer this to the use of quotation marks, because these can
have a number of systematic implications (e.g., I don't beklieve in this
taxon, someone else called it this, it hasn't been defined yet, etc.)

	Under this convention, the early avian Archaeopteryx, believed to
be sister to all other birds, might be termed #Archaeopteryx
lithographica, while Prosaurolophus maximus, certainly sister species (if
not ancestor) to Saurolophus spp., could be included in that "former genus" clade as Saurolophus maximus. Or, it could just be termed
Hadrosauridae maximus.




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