an obscure descriptive term

Alexey V. Kuprijanov Q at TINEA.USR.PU.RU
Wed Apr 9 09:04:34 CDT 1997

Dear colleagues,

Many years ago I saw a paper where two lepidopterologists used the term
'well-rounded' to describe a ventral part of the VII segment of female
abdomen. Then I had taken it for granted. Later I became concerned with it,
since the 'well-rounded VIIth sternum' turned to be (as the authors
argued) a reliable synapomorphy for the members of a moth family. Studying
these moths I was surprised to find that the VII th sternum is anything
but rounded. Usually it is square with a more or less developed incision
at the middle of caudal margin. I decided that the authors chosen an
inappropriate descriptive term or that they had never seen this damned
VIIth sternum before. Now I am about to change my mind. As I discovered
from the piece placed below, by well-rounded should be meant
someting other than a fairy well rounded thing. Forgive, please, my
ignorance in English, but would anyone be so kind as to explain me
what should be the exact meaning for 'well-rounded'.

>"We don't need any more well-rounded people.  We have too many now.  A
>well-rounded person is like a ball; he rolls in the first direction he is
>pushed.  We need more square people who won't roll away when they are pushed."
>                             -- Eugene Wilson

Yours sincerely, Alexey

Alexey V. Kuprijanov            (Lepidoptera: Incurvarioidea)
Institute for the History of Science and Technology
Univrsitetskaya emb. 5
St. Petersburg 199034
R U S S I A                      e-mail: Q at TINEA.USR.PU.RU

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