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Re: AFF vs FFF
I had written:
"That's one of the beauties of Scientific names - they are always the same."
Rachel is trying to get me to raise to the bait:
"And I couldn't resist - James, have you seen the debate over what to call
the german ram? Or many of the new loricariids? Is it Hemianthus
micranthemides or Micranthemum micranthemides, or something else?"
Science, without debate, would be pretty boring. Historically taxonomists
have used a combination of morphological characteristics to determine the
relationships between and among different things, be they plants or animals.
This will usually work, IF they choose the correct characteristics and they
compare them properly. But not always. Sometimes it is very difficult to
determine whether two similar characteristics are the result of shared
ancestory or merely convergent evolution. The opinion of the taxonomist has
to come into it then, and they are people, subject to bias and prone to
mistakes. And some traditional "families" are really artificial and contain
members which really shouldn't be there (i.e. they aren't that closely
As for your plant examples, "Hemianthus" is considered to be a nomenclatural
synonym of "Micranthemum", meaning that the "correct" name of the plant is
Micranthemum micranthemoides. If you doubt me, go to the International Plant
Names Index, (http://www.ipni.org/), and run a search on both names. The
databse at the Royal Botanical Garden, Kew,
(http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/data/genlist.html) also lists Hemianthus as a
synonym of Micranthemum. Up against those odds, I don't think I'd put too
much faith in a name used in a hobby level publication.
So Rachel, no bites this time......lol......try another cast.....