How many synonyms?

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at FMPPR.FMNH.ORG
Wed Jun 11 13:48:01 CDT 1997

At 08:22 PM 06-11-97 +0200, Anders Silfvergrip posed the question:

>Do diurnal species with bright colours attract taxonomists?

Looking at the question more broadly, we might ask, Do species that are easy
to "catch" have a better chance of being made known?  As a botanist, I have
long been eternally grateful that my target organisms are (a) macroscopic
and (b) politely sit still and await my arrival.  If studying my organisms
required me to "run through the jungle" chasing  down the things I want to
study; setting traps, lures, lares, or other contrivances; examining them
only with the aid of special optics , etc., it wouldn't be nearly so
enjoyable.   Perhaps the fact that over a quarter-million species of
flowering plants are known is in part the result of their ease of collection
compared to birds, rodents, sea-trench and forest canopy denizens,
nematodes, and Sasquatch.

Thomas G. Lammers

Classification, Nomenclature, Phylogeny and Biogeography
of the Campanulaceae, s. lat.

Department of Botany
Field Museum of Natural History
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496 USA

e-mail:     lammers at
voice mail: 312-922-9410 ext. 317

"Knowledge is good."  -- Emil Faber

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