Susanne Schulmeister susanne71_2000 at YAHOO.DE
Tue Oct 29 15:49:33 CST 2002

 --- Denis Brothers <Brothers at NU.AC.ZA> schrieb:
> The name Vespina as used by Rasnitsyn derives from a proposal by the
> great Russian palaeoentomologist Rohdendorf (and promoted by
> Rasnitsyn
> and colleagues in Moscow) to typify the names of all animal taxa,
> including those above the family-group level (which are not covered
> by the ICZN and which have traditionally never been typified). This
> involves the addition of appropriate suffixes to the stem based on a
> genus name. The type they designated for the Hymenoptera (which
> should
> be called Vespida in their system) is the genus _Vespa_. Hence,
> highertaxa wh  include _Vespa_ must have names formed from "Vesp-"
> with the
> appropriate suffix. Hence, Vespina (I forget whether that ending is
> actually for a suborder or some other category). (Events have
> overtaken
> their proposal, however, since the ending "-ina" is now mandated by
> the ICZN for subtribes, which will cause confusion.)

True. One of my coauthors, Jim Carpenter, pointed this out to me, but I
still argued that we can't ignore a name that's out there simply
because we do not like how and why it was formed. That would be
increasing the number of taxon names without necessity.
That's why we decided to write in our paper:
"... we follow Rasnitsyn (1988) in using the name Vespina for the
Orussidae+Apocrita clade. This should not be taken to mean that we
agree with the nomenclatural system followed in that paper, which among
other things substitutes the name “Vespida” for Hymenoptera.
Rasnitsyn’s system is part of an effort to standardize (and typify)
names for taxa above the family-group level, that is beyond the limits
of the current International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.  While we
see merit in standardized (and typified) names at higher levels, any
attempt to impose such a system unilaterally, outside of the
international organizations that govern the codes of biological
nomenclature, will certainly fail, as for example happened with
Shipley’s (1904) proposal to standardize insect ordinal names."


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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