Message 2001-06-0103: Re: species names

Fri, 18 May 2001 18:12:49 -0400 (EDT)

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Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 18:12:49 -0400 (EDT)
From: "T. Mike Keesey" <>
To: -PhyloCode Mailing List- <>
Subject: Re: species names

On Fri, 18 May 2001 znc14@TTACS.TTU.EDU wrote:

> 	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),

Thanks :)

> 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.)

I tend to dislike notations that can't be spoken, but I will attempt to
come up with another solution for this case, anyway...

> 	Under this convention, the early avian Archaeopteryx, believed
> to be sister to all other birds, might be termed #Archaeopteryx
> lithographica

You could define _Archaeopteryx_ as Clade(_Archaeopteryx lithographica_
<-- _Passer domesticus_).

Whoops. Thinking about that more, that might also include the large,
flightless _Unenlagia comahuensis_ and the "sickled-clawed" _Rahonavis
ostromi_. In fact, by some minority phylogenies, it would include
dromaeosaurids (a.k.a. "'raptors" -- _Deinonychus_, _Velociraptor_, etc.)
as well! Of course, you could just add all these as external specifiers,
but then there is always the possibility of finding some derived creature
that belongs to the clade specified despite not really fitting the generic
concept of _Archaeopteryx_....

How about this: a node-based clade including _A. bavarica_ and _A.
lithographica_? But there's always the chance that the species might be
subjective synonyms -- would this invalidate the clade or not? And there
is also the chance that it might be syonymous with _Aves_ (if _A bavarica_
is closer to modern birds than _A. lithographica_ is), or even *include*
_Aves_ (if _A. lithographica_ is closer to modern birds than _A. bavarica_

Then again, that's what qualifying clauses are for. So, in conclusion, I
leave these two possibilities:

A) _Archaeopteryx_ == Clade(_Archaeopteryx lithographica_ <-- _Passer
domesticus_, _Rahonavis ostromi_, _Unenlagia comahuensis_, _Velociraptor
mongoliensis_, _Dromaeosaurus albertensis_, _Deinonychus antirrhopus_,
_Saurornitholestes langstoni_, _Utahraptor ostrommaysorum_, _Bambiraptor
feinbergorum_, _Microraptor zhaoianus_, _Sinornithosaurus millenii_)

B) _Archaeopteryx_ == Clade(_Archaeopteryx lithographica_ + _Archaeopteryx
bavarica_), provided that _Passer domesticus_ is excluded

Ugh. Maybe Wagner's right and it isn't worth it....

> 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.

Why not just make _Prosaurolophus_ a stem-based clade with _Saurolophus
osborni_ as an external specifier? (You have a much better handle on
hadrosaurids than I do, so I'm sure you'll come up with something.)

In any case, I see no need to use #Archaeopteryx lithographica. If
_Archaeopteryx_ is to be undefined, I would just say _Aves lithographica_
(I don't know of another avian with that specific epithet) until such a
time that we can define _Archaeopteryx_. Actually, you could define
_Archaeopterygiformes_ or _Archaeornithes_ as Clade(_A. lithographica_ <--
_Passer domesticus_) -- then you could call it _Archaeopterygiformes
lithographica_ or _Archaeornithes lithographica_.

All right, back to work--
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