Use Of Specific Epithets

Discussion in 'Codex taxinomiae plantarum (CTP)' started by Mahon, Nov 23, 2006.

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  1. Nov 25, 2006 #21
    I think, we're looking at different results. You want to clarify things eg. relationships between plants, and I just want to ensure that the species name remain stable. If it means lumping them back into Masdevallia, then so be it.

    Maybe changing the concept of how a species name is given from "genus + specific epithet" to "family + specific epithet" or any combination that may work better is untenable considering the history and the amount of work, but it will keep a lot of taxonomists off the streets for a while. :poke:

    basionym = basic synonym.... Yes?

    so, if

    Laelia purpurata is now called Sophronitis purpurata, then sophronitis purpurata has one basionym, namely laelia purpurata…. Yes?

    If tomorrow, it is called Cattleya purpurata, then it will have as its basionym laelia purpurata and sophronitis purpurata, which makes two basionyms. Yes/No?

    Maybe it isn't 'basionym' which I am thinking of but some other taxonomic concept, either way, it goes back to an ever increasing prior name for the one species.

    ok, street names = specific epithet, and we haven't quite done away with it.

    So, let's say all street names from now on will be numbers and every new street will have the a new number.

    Braem street is now 7. And it is in the USA. so, if I say USA 7, people will know that I am talking of (or what once was) Braem Street, USA. In the future, it will be simply known as USA 7.

    Of course, the census may want to have different levels which designate, suburb, city, state. Changing population means that a suburb is burgeoning and needs to be split. Currently, the suburb of Braem where USA 7 (aka Braem St is) is getting too big and needs to be split. So, they split the suburb into Guido and Braem and now USA 7 is in Guido. At the end of the day, it is still known as USA 7.

    and here I concede, because if it would be as easy to change the system as I have suggested, then it would be just as easy for someone else to change it tomorrow.

    But why not? Is it because I am changing the whole concept of what a 'family' vs a 'genus' signifies? Isn't this the idea... the current concepts cannot cope with the changes that are being made so it’s time to turn them upside down, inside out.

    You misunderstood the my point. The point was that as more research is done (however this is done, whether subatomic technology or whatever) the relationships of plants will be better understood. This relationship may lead to a plant being moved from one genus to another, but it’s name should remain the same.

    this is a terrible analogy, if I may say so myself, so I’ll respond with an equally terrible one…

    If I buy a Foster’s Lager today, and tomorrow I go to pub # 2 at USA 7, I can still ask for a Foster’s Lager. The beer hasn’t changed it’s name.
  2. Nov 26, 2006 #22





    Yes, but you see. The Foster's Lager is a species. And the species is well defined and has no variation. Therefore, there is no trouble finding it in any shop or anytime.

    But true (taxonomist) life is not that way, a awful lot of plant species are NOT well-defined and MOST are variable, some even, very much so (just remember the besseae/dalessandroi deal).

    Now, if we would have a system to define the species as well as the Foster's Lager or Sam Adams Octoberfest (I get a shock everytime I write Octoberfest wit a "c"), we would have solved a very, very big problem.

    Moral of the story: beer taxonomy is easy, and hey, I am going to use that in class. The other good way to explain taxonomy is languages (but unfortunately, not too many people speak several languages). I think the beer deal is easier.

    On second thought, I can think of a way in which I can include variation into my beer model. ... Got it!
  3. Nov 26, 2006 #23





    I think the major part of classification is determining relationships between genera and the status of each species in a genus. There are so many ways of attacking this, that we have our own little classification system on the taxonomists!

    What I see here is that you have no evidence to support your idea for your "supergenus" concept. You have an affinity towards lumping, yet without any evidence. You suggest moving all the segregate Masdevallia genera back into Masdevallia. This is crazy! If you see all the Masdevallia segregate genera in person, you would have a completely different story. Not only is there valid evidence that these genera remain segregated, but all of the conflicting specific epithets between these genera will cause even more confusion. This is why I originally stated the first step is to limit specific epithets. The "supergenus" concept is insane in itself, but you have to take steps that would even allow such a treatment. The first is fixing repetitous specific epithets, then setting a guideline to limit the epithet use in a certain nomenclatural level.

    Why change a good working concept? A binomial (genus + species) is a very good concept. You will not clarify anything if you specify what family you are discussing in the binomial. In that case, your binomial generic epithet (Orchidaceae) and specific epithet will have to treat about 20,000+ species. That means 20,000+ more original specific epithets would have to be given. You just complicated the entire family Orchidaceae, and defeated your entire purpose (which is to "keep the species name stable") by using Orchidaceae in place of the generic epithet in a binomial.

    Now, according to your system, not only do we have orchids, but we have orchids. What kind of orchids do you grow? I grow orchid orchids. It's repititous, we know we have orchids, that's why we have binomials with generic and specific epithets. That's why the beginning starts with broad Orchidaceae, and narrows down to a specific species, and does not go back up to Orchidaceae for any reason.

    I am pretty sure you are relating to here is; 'Nomenclatural Synonyms'.

  4. Nov 26, 2006 #24





    I am afraid you just don't get the point on this. What you propose will just shove (sp?) the problem into another level. The problem will remain the same.

    YES ... You got it.

    NO. There is only ONE basionym, and that is the first name given to the species (in the original publication). That was "Laelia purpurata". Therefore if it would become Cattleya purpurata, the basionym will be Laelia purpurata and "Sophronitis purpurata" is reduced to y simple synonym.

    Its actualy very simple. A taxon can only have one type and one basionym, but many synonyms.

    What is an "ever increasing prior name"? Or do you want to say the prior names in chronological sequence. In that casr YES. The first name turns into the basionym, all others become synonyms

    The current system works. But there is no point in knowing an address if you have not learned how to find that address. Thus, the current system itself is good enough as far as the "Taxonomy" is concerned. However, what is at fault is the "systematics". We have to define the species properly. We have to find a way to say what is "variation enough to divide the species" etc. etc.

    Again, It is not a problem to find Sam Adams if you know what Sam Adams is, what a refrigerator is, in what refrigerator you have put the "juice," what house the fridge is in, what city the house is in, etc. etc. that is pure taxonomy and systematics.

    So now back to orchids.
    Fat Guido (alias Braem) defines Ledebergia nonexistentia, and published it validly and effectively as of 17 Aprilium 2754. As it is the first species of the genus, we have also defined the genus Ledebergia. Now, we decide that it is a slipper (no need for DNA) eyes will do. The plant comes from outer Mongolia and grew on trees, so we have a Paphiopedilum.

    This we have a full proof taxonomy and systematics:

    Family Orchidaceae
    Subfamily Cypripedioidea
    Genus Ledebergia
    Species nonexistentia

    to be cited as Ledebergia nonexistentia Braem 2754, and that is a full-proof designation of the plant. What is wrong with that system?

    Now we can start playing around under what conditions and how that name can be changed, but one thing at the time.

    Some strange noice is calling me to the kitchen.

  5. Nov 26, 2006 #25




    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Jun 6, 2006
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    Sacramento, CA. Outside w/ Southeast Exposure
    I just have to say (cause I know about these things at least :poke: )
    that Octoberfest is as such here because that's how we spell it in the USA. and Sammy's an American beer.

    I think most of the German beers spell it with the 'k'.

    I like that analogy. Off to get another Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale.....
  6. Nov 26, 2006 #26





    That is OK with me, it just struck me that if they are keeping the second part of the word "fest" in German, there is no reason not to do the same thing to the first part of the word.



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