W.Wuster w.wuster at BANGOR.AC.UK
Mon Feb 23 21:42:17 CST 1998

In reptiles, many misnomers are caused by the different colouration of
faded spirit-preserved specimens and the living animal. Examples include
Bungarus flaviceps (head is bright red), Naja nivea (may be yellow,
never white), Boiga cyanea (green, not blue), Trimeresurus albolabris
(yellow, not white-lipped) and many others.

There have been moves to standardise the common names of some groups of
reptiles (in particular venomous snakes) - some have suggested simply
translating scientific names into modern languages - the result would be
something of a nonsense, but then so is the whole idea of standardising
common names (IMHO), so I guess it does not matter all that much....

Wolfgang Wuster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, UK
e-mail: w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk WWW: http:/oracle.bangor.ac.uk/sbs/

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