Why I hate "Vespina" - an actual clade

Susanne Schulmeister susanne71_2000 at YAHOO.DE
Mon Oct 28 23:10:21 CST 2002




P.S.: suborders in Hymenoptera do not end on -ina.
Traditional suborders are Symphyta, Terebrantes=Parasitica, and

 --- Ken Kinman <kinman at HOTMAIL.COM> schrieb: > Susanne,
>       First let me just say that compared to Vespina, your more
> inclusive
> clade Unicalcarida seems much more useful and less problematic,
> although I
> would prefer an informal name like "unicalcareans" (which is Clade 4+
> in my
> Hymenoptera classification).  The clade "Vespina", however, is so
> problematic that I hardly know where to begin:
>       (1)  I'll start with a couple of minor reasons to dislike it.
> First
> of all, Vespina is the name of a genus in Lepidoptera---- being a
> widely
> read taxonomist, I was not personally confused by that (many others
> would
> not be so lucky, especially non-entomologists).
>      (2)  It has the standard -ina ending for zoological suborders
> (see
> Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology), but it cuts across the
> dividing line
> between traditional hymenopteran suborders.  That it is so similar to
> Vespinae just makes matters worse.  Perhaps it would have been better
> to
> call it Apocrita sensu lato (not that I am recommmending that).
>      (3) I could almost overlook the first two if only it were a
> particularly useful clade to name.  And why create a formal clade
> Vespina,
> rather than simply calling it "Apocrita + Orussidae" (two taxa which
> far
> more people could find references to).  It's an unnecessary
> obfuscation of a
> relatively simple idea---that Orussidae is sister group to all the
> more
> derived hymenopterans (Apocrita).  I suppose Apocrita was itself
> created as
> a short form of "non-symphytan hymenopterans", but at least it is far
> more
> useful than formally appending a small sliver of Symphyta to the
> Apocrita.
>      (4) NOW, imagine the embarrassment hymenopterists will feel (and
> confusion to others) if Orussidae is not actually the sister group to
> Apocrita (a very real possibility if the apomorphies are the result
> of
> convergence or parallelism due to their parasitic way of life).
> THEN, you
> have to abandon yet another clade name, or expand it to include
> symphytan
> families that are closer to Apocrita than Orussidae is.  More
> confusion in
> the present and to users of the literature in the future.
>      (5) Multiply this one instance of unnecessary clade-naming by
> hundreds
> (eventually thousands) of times, and you can begin to imagine the
> kind of
> chaos I see developing (as if taxonomy isn't already burdened with
> enough
> bureaucratic problems).  The reputation of taxonomy will slide still
> further, as cladists continue to formally name more and more clades,
> until
> only trained specialists will understand classifications (like tax
> specialists and lawyers).  And I don't want to even think about when
> PhyloCode starts clashing with the other Codes.  Even scientists will
> have
> increasing difficulty communicating with each other, and more time
> wasted on
> unproductive activities.
>      (6) As I said yesterday, it isn't isolated instances of
> clade-naming
> that scare me, but the realization of what the cumulative effect will
> be of
> this kind of activity over time (even if it doesn't escalate).  You
> can
> ignore the problems early on, but they eventually catch up with you
> (or your
> descendants) in an even worse form---a good example is the mistaken
> notion
> that we could just scoff at Malthus and claim that population growth
> was a
> problem science could somehow cope with (it only postpones the
> inevitable
> until it is so bad it can no longer be ignored and solutions become
> very
> painful and costly).
>      Utopias are naive wishful thinking, whether you are talking
> about
> societies, energy supplies, neverending "bull markets", or "PhyloCode
> in the
> Sky".   PhyloCode and communism both look good on paper, but the
> reality
> almost always turns out to be an entirely different thing.  If
> dinosaur
> clade-naming is any indication (and mammals haven't fared much
> better), we
> are going to be in for big trouble continuing on the present course.
>             ----- Ken Kinman
> ******************************************
> >From: Susanne Schulmeister <susanne71_2000 at YAHOO.DE>
> >Reply-To: Susanne Schulmeister <susanne71_2000 at YAHOO.DE>
> >Subject: Vespina is a clade name
> >Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 21:51:59 +0100
> >
> >Hi,
> > >       Does anyone know if Vespina is a hymenopteran clade name?
> The
> > > only
> > > Vespina I know of is a lepidopteran genus.  There is a
> hymenopteran
> > > clade
> > > Vespinae (subfamily within Vespidae), but surely that doesn't
> clade
> > > with
> > > Xiphydrioidea.
> > >       Please tell me that Susanne made a couple of typos, and
> that
> > > "Vespina"
> > > isn't a large clade of hymenopterans.  Otherwise, I think I will
> need
> > > to
> > > take an aspirin and perhaps scream into a pillow.
> >
> >It was introduced by Rasnitsyn (1988) for Apocrita+Orussidae. You
> can
> >also find it in that new "History of Insects" I mentioned, on page
> 244
> >(right margin). It may not be the best name for this clade, but I
> felt
> >that because that name is already out there in the literature, I
> can't
> >just go about and make up a new one. What is it that you hate so
> much
> >about that name?
> >
> >Susanne
> >
> >=====
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Susanne Schulmeister
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024

Opinions in this email are that of the sender, not the museum.


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