Is Mantophasmatodea an order?

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Mon Apr 22 11:57:58 CDT 2002

And what all should realize that under the ICZN these new names are not yet
available. So, if any one wants and has a handy printing press available,
they can scoop Science which has not yet published these names in a way to
met the requirement of Zoological Nomenclature. That is, unless you consider
The New York Times or The Washington Post to be works "issued for the
purpose of providing a public and PERMANENT scientific record..."  IF so,
then they have already validate these names, etc.

As to whether "Mantophasmatodea" is an order or not, that merely depends on
what taxonomists want to consider it as, as there is no generally accepted
scientific method for assigning rank in Linnaean hierarchies.  Ranks used in
bird and mammal classifications have no relationship to those used in insect
classification. And even within insects orders, such as Diptera, ranks like
family have no relationship among themselves (that is, a family of primitive
flies is in no way equivalent to a family of advanced ones).

Obviously, if Carolus, himself, was around, he would have simply placed
these creatures in the Order Orthoptera! Linnaeus was, first, concern with a
pragmatic system for communicating about life. So, for insects he largely
borrow the classification first used by Aristole!  So, even after some 2,000
years, the group names, such as Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, etc., have
the same meaning (=circumscription). Unfortunately, some, like Orthoptera,
have been smashed into dozens of lesser known groups, etc.

But if Entomologists want PR, then they too will have to overly inflate
their taxonomic system, just like the bird and mammal people have done!

The bottomline is simply that Adis' group have made a wonderful find,
considering especially the linking of the living forms to ancient ones in
Baltic amber. And for once, the little known creatures are getting great

F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., ARS, USDA
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D. C. 20560-0169
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at [NB: no terminal "n"]
visit our Diptera site at

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