Cladistics and "Eclecticism"

Hubert Turner turner at RULSFB.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Thu Feb 7 10:13:26 CST 2002

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Tom DiBenedetto
>The principle is simple: lets
>try to make our naming system conform to the real history of lineages.

        |   |--B
     |  |------C

Then why say that taxon Z (or Y, or X) now is no longer a species,
but rather a clade?
To me this looks like using the name Z  at the species level first,
and subsequently (after a splitting event took place) at a higher
taxonomic level. To me it makes more sense to speak of the branch
between the splitting off of species D and the splitting off of
species C as "species Y", but of the same branch together with all
its descendant branches (C, X, A, and B) as "clade Y". Preferably
some convention should be used to indicate its status as a
higher-level taxon, such as Yus, Yidae, Yales for genus, family,
order, or e.g. Yclides for a clade of indeterminate level. In this
way confusion between the clade and its ancestral species could be
avoided. After all, the branch was at one time a proper species,
which ended (went 'extinct' >as a species<; of course the lineage
itself did not go extinct) when it split in two.

Hubert Turner

IBED, University of Amsterdam,
PO Box 94766, 1090 GT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Visiting address: Mauritskade 57, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 - 20 - 5255449  Fax: +31 - 20 - 5255402
E-mail: turner at or turner at

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