Uniform endings (was:"Vespina")

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 29 14:49:41 CST 2002

     Thank you Denis---that explains why "Vespina" was chosen.  Actually the
standard ordinal ending -ida and the subordinal ending -ina were both
proposed by Pearse in 1936, also used by Stenzel in 1950, as well as
Rohdendorf in 1977.  And the massive Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology
adopted at least the -ida standard ending as well (except for the insects,
which is a shame).  Are you sure -ina is mandated by ICZN for subtribes?  I
thought it was -ina for suborders and -ini for tribes.
     In any case, in this fine tradition of using -ida for invertebrate
orders, that is what I used in my 1994 book.  The only difference is that I
rejected "typification", which is what doomed all previous proposals (1911,
1932, 1936, 1950, 1953, 1977, and 1991) to failure.  And furthermore, I
adopted -iformes for chordate orders since the fish and birds (a majority of
the orders) already had that ending.
     In my classifications, -ida always indicates an invertebrate order and
-iformes a chordate order.  And of course, all botanical and bacteriological
orders are mandated to end in -ales.  With just three endings, it is easy to
teach and learn, and it does not clash with tradition.  Again, I do not
mandate typification of zoological names (to avoid the all the failures
mentioned to above).  Instead of Orders Vespida and Papilionida, I would use
Hymenopterida and Lepidopterida (these names are instantly recognizable,
even with the two letters inserted).  And by the way, I am not the only one
using -ida endings for insect orders (even though the "Treatise"
unfortunately failed to implement their own tradition in the two insect
      Botanists came to an agreement about ordinal names a long time ago,
whereas zoologists failed to do so.  Botany reaped the rewards of its
decision, and zoology has suffered the consequences of indecision and
sweeping the problem under the rug.  Thus it should NOT be surprising that
proposals to abolish the Linnaean System almost always come from zoologists.
  By the way, this means that Botany is well positioned to ride out the
coming storm (zoological nomenclature will continue to be phylocode's
"guinea pig" and bear the brunt of whatever that experiment might bring).
              ----- Ken Kinman
P.S.  So Susanne, you can see that it is a little difficult for me to
"relax".  We can negotiate a peace now, or we will suffer from even bigger
battles ahead.  We either learn from our mistakes in the last century, or we
go on making even bigger ones this century (and the solutions will become
increasingly more difficult and costly).  Perhaps I should have been a
botanist.  Now where did I put that aspirin bottle???  Or maybe a scream
into a pillow will have to do for now.
>From: Denis Brothers <Brothers at NU.AC.ZA>
>Reply-To: Denis Brothers <Brothers at NU.AC.ZA>
>Subject: Re: Why I hate "Vespina" - an actual clade
>Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 14:18:38 +0200
>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, higher
>taxa which 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.)
>Prof. Denis J. Brothers
>School of Botany & Zoology
>(and Centre for Environment & Development)
>University of Natal
>Private Bag X01
>tel: +27 (0)33 260 5106
>fax: +27 (0)33 260 5105
>e-mail: brothers at nu.ac.za

Broadband? Dial-up? Get reliable MSN Internet Access.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list