Genera with many species
TPape at SNM.KU.DK
Mon Sep 26 14:51:26 CDT 2005
> ... most large genera are subject to taxonomist-erosion;
> marginal subgroups are gnawed off and given separate names all the time
So, maybe the real interesting question is not exactly how many species, BUT:
With genera being defined through a strange mixture of strictly scientific (monophyly) and mainly psychological ('user-friendlyness') criteria, how do we approach the "taxonomist-erosion" Finn alludes to?
Should we call the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti [482,000 hits in Google] or Stegomyia aegypti [12,300 hits in Google]?
This matters not only for general communication and information retrieval but even for (zoological) nomenclature through issues of secondary homonymy and gender agreement.
The Natural History Museum of Denmark
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