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Re: Nomenclature (was KillieTalk Digest V2 #1027)
LeeH920226 at aol_com wrote:
> In a message dated 8/20/99 5:29:55 AM, Owner-KillieTalk at AKA_Org writes:
> << From: "Bob Meyer" <bmeyer at parkland_cc.il.us>
> Subject: Chattanooga Aquarium
> Got my JAKA and BNL and a shipment of fish all today. I am really
> confused by the nomenclature changes suggested in the JAKA. Is this a
> recommended change or is it official. I can't wait to get the new KMI. >>
> Nomenclature is never, ever "official".
This is particularly true for some hobbyists who insist they know better
than the International Committee on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), the
otherwise universally-accepted group for establishing "official" scientific
nomenclature for animals. World wide, their decision *is* "official" (if
often disagreed with).
> It is the latest and hopefully the
> best assessment of the specific fish and the literature. A species name is
> determined by priority of correct publication as well as differentiation on
> descriptive features from other species. Genus names are determined by both
> the fish similarities to other species and, of course, priority in correct
> publication of the name. If you expect the names to never change you are in
> for a disappointment, not only in killifish but in most species, even
> natives. The complexity and changing nomenclature is, in part due to new and
> better techniques for differentiation but also due to an explosion in the
> number of new species being discovered, described and imported.
Those decisions are made by the ICZN. Most of the world, and particularly
academia, pretty much ignore DKG, KFN, or AKA choices for nomenclature.
Petty concerns about whose name is attached to a genus or species are
subordinated to the science's need for accurate and unequivocal
identification, description and the maintenance of type specimens.
> The new KMI,
> while more official than some other publications, will undoubtedly upset you
> because of the many recent changes in nomenclature. It will also be obsolete
> as soon as it is published. As always there will be controversy and
> differences in adaptation to new names and new separations.
It too has been declared "official," as far as the AKA is concerned, for the
BNL. Generally the KMI has been closer to (if often way behind) the ICZN
names than the European hobby groups' names.
> <<If you take a look at the current F&E I am sure that you will find at least
> 20 errors.>>
> If you can identify those errors, please do so. I cannot find any in the
> August F&E (except one typo "lacorte") primarily because it has been checked
> by Dr. Dan Nielsen before publication.
There are a fair number of other disagreements (way less than 20, tho) with
the only version of KMI that I'm aware that the members have. Hopefully, Dr.
Dan has an updated copy of the (to-be-released?) KMI, and I am impressed at
his general accuracy level, to date.
For example, *A. hera* just generated a round of questions/answers here.
It's too new.
BTW. Words enclosed in *asterisks* are the traditional way to do italics in
an all-ASCII text system such as e-mail and mail lists. All scientific names
should *always* be in italics. I do fault the BNL and the N&R and F&E
listings particularly, for being careless about this little piece of trivia.
It would greatly reduce the confusion between subspecies and location names,
for example, if the former were italicized and the latter not.
With modern word processing and typesetting, it certainly should not be
difficult to do.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntleyone at home dot com
"DEMOCRACY" is two wolves and a lamb voting on lunch.
"LIBERTY" is a well-armed lamb denying enforcement of the vote.
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