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Nomenclature (was Re: Pseudepiplatys annulatus)
John Wubbolt wrote:
> I'm an American and I will always refer to the fish I've been
> maintaining for some time now as Epiplatys Annulatus. Europeans still
> like to call fundulopanchax species Aphyosemions. Well I don't and I
> won't use Pseudoepiplatys on my Annulatus. I just wish we could all
> agree on one name universally. That would create less problems for all
> of us. I don't understand why Europe and the Western Hemisphere
> differ so much.
John, there *is* an International Committee for Zoological Nomenclature
(ICZN) < http://www.iczn.org/index.htm > that keeps such things straight
for us (and particularly the scientists and researchers). They attempt
to assure that a given Latin name describes one, and only one, species
and that it is grouped with the correct genus.
Hobbyists (mostly in Europe) that reject Parenti's reorganization of
Aphyos, die-hards that try to get "Rollofia" reinstated as a valid
genus, or hobbyists that don't know that ANN were given a new genus for
very real reasons do not do the hobby any favors by calling the exact
same species by a bunch of different names.
The ICZN isn't perfect, but they have pretty good reasons before they
change a name. It would pay to study them before deliberately trying to
add to what is already a confusing situation.
I love to argue with Royal Ingersoll about the non-genus "Rollofia." He
wants to try to get the ICZN overruled by common usage by continuing to
use that generic name. It may happen, but, IMHO, doing that is about as
useful as kicking the hell out of a six-foot wall of foam rubber, or
pushing something heavy with a rope.
I see no strong *taxonomic* reasoning behind his campaign, and accept
the divisions as Parenti described them. They are pretty understandable
and useful. ICZN is fairly rigid about not confusing the scientific
community by *reusing* a generic name to describe different fish than
were called that in earlier literature. Once invalidated, they are most
reluctant to reuse it. Unfortunately, "Rollofia" was the victim of an
As hobbyists, we are just freeloaders on the scientists' coattails in
this area. The needs of researchers probably *should* take priority over
ours. We ultimately get the benefit of the knowledge they generate. We
can reciprocate by being as cooperative with them as possible. Fighting
with ICZN over nomenclature is just an exercise in futility that hurts
the hobby more than them.
You wish we could agree? We can.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley1 at home dot com
Liberalism is totalitarianism with a human face.