[Taxacom] Ethiopian versus Afrotropical

Thompson, Chris Chris.Thompson at ARS.USDA.GOV
Wed Aug 13 12:07:30 CDT 2008


Yes, John:

They are just useful descriptive tags for large geographic areas that
have similar biota. They are simply PHENETIC concepts, without any
reality beyond similiarity statistics.

But John's question was about names, not reality.

F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., ARS, USDA
c/o Smithsonian Institution MRC-0169
PO Box 37012
Washington, D. C. 20013-7012
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 fax
www.diptera.org Diptera Website

-----Original Message-----
From: John Grehan [mailto:jgrehan at sciencebuff.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:56 PM
To: Thompson, Chris; John D. Oswald; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Ethiopian versus Afrotropical

Proves my point. They're all arbitrary. They can feel whatever they
like, but the units do not have any empirical existence.

John Grehan 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Thompson, Chris
> Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:48 PM
> To: John D. Oswald; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Ethiopian versus Afrotropical
> 
> John:
> 
> The term Afrotropical was coined by the dipterists at the then British
> Museum (Natural History) when they started on their catalogue of the
> Diptera of Afrotropical region.
> 
> Their (Crosskey & White) paper justifying this is in the Journal of
> Natural History (1977) 11: 541-544.
> 
> They felt as the Diptera Community continues to feel that
Afro-tropical
> is a nice match to Neo-tropical and the older Ethiopian name has some
> bad historical (racial) connotations, etc.
> 
> Now some dipterists are suggesting that we go further and change the
> Australian region into Austro-tropical region.
> 
> Cheers
> 
> F. Christian Thompson
> Systematic Entomology Lab., ARS, USDA
> c/o Smithsonian Institution MRC-0169
> PO Box 37012
> Washington, D. C. 20013-7012
> (202) 382-1800 voice
> (202) 786-9422 fax
> www.diptera.org Diptera Website
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of John D.
Oswald
> Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 11:36 AM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] Ethiopian versus Afrotropical
> 
> Can anyone provide commentary on the appropriateness, preference,
and/or
> 
> subtleties involved in using the term Ethiopian, versus Afrotropical,
in
> 
> referring to the biogeographic faunal region that generally
encompasses
> sub-Saharan Africa and parts of the southern/southeastern Arabian
> peninsula? Is usage here largely determined by the historical usage
> found in the literature of different taxa? Does this usage vary
> appreciably based on where one works (e.g., do biologists in Africa
tend
> 
> to use one term, while biologists in other areas of the world tend to
> use the other)? Which is the 'better' term, and why? Are there
> substantive reasons for using one term over the other? Are the terms
> considered synonymous in general usage, or are there important
> subtleties of meaning implicit in each? Is there a concise discussion
of
> 
> these issues in the literature somewhere (citations please...)?
> 
> John Oswald
> 
> --
> John D. Oswald
> Associate Professor
> Department of Entomology
> Texas A&M University
> College Station, TX  77843-2475
> USA
> 
> E-mail: j-oswald at tamu.edu
> Phone: (979) 862-3507
> More at: http://insects.tamu.edu/people/faculty/oswaldj.cfm
> 
> Lacewing Digital Library: http://lacewing.tamu.edu/
> Neuropterida Species of the World:
> http://lacewing.tamu.edu/Species-Catalogue/index.html
> Bibliography of the Neuropterida:
>
http://entowww.tamu.edu/research/neuropterida/neur_bibliography/botn_sea
> rch.html
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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