[Taxacom] Ethiopian versus Afrotropical

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Thu Aug 14 08:27:22 CDT 2008


My understanding is that only the Eritrian part of Ethiopia was occupied - by the Italians for some decades.

On the origin of the name, my recollection is similar to the following that I pulled off the web (so may be incorrect).

The name of Ethiopia represents the Greek word for its native inhabitants. This was "aithiops" (= "burnt appearance"), from "aitho" (I burn) and "opsis" (aspect, appearance). The indigenous name, Abyssinia, may come from an Amharic root "hbs", meaning "mixed," but some Amharic scholars dispute this origin.

John Grehan

secondly
> to the best of my knowledge Ethiopia was never a colony and I would
> suppose that they chose their name themselves, sometime in their 3000
> year history.
> 
> 'Kenya' is also a genuinely Kenyan name. You might mix that up with
> Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, German Southwest Africa and Namibia, French Sudan
> for Mali etc. This does not apply to Ethiopia...
> 
> Best
> Fabian
> 
> Fabian Haas wrote:
> > Being in Africa, just south of Ethiopa, in Kenya, I do agree with
> > Jacque, that the only reason for avoiding Ethiopian in this meaning is
> > the possible confusing with the state of Ethiopia. No connotations and
> > preferences apart from that.
> >
> > To my recollection all colleagues (no matter where they come from) here
> > at icipe use Afrotropical and sub-Saharan instead of Ethiopian when
> > refering to this large region. Ethiopian is only use when refering to
> > the country.
> >
> > best
> > Fabian
> >
> > JOCQUE Rudy wrote:
> >
> >> "Afrotropical" is indeed synonym of "Ethiopian" in the large
> biogeographical sense. The former was adopted in analogy with names as
> Palaearctic, Nearctic, Neotropical. I never heard the idea that
> "Ethiopian" was left because of bad connotations. It is simply because
> Ethiopian could lead to confusion as it could mean "restricted to
> Ethiopia" referring to the political entity, or "restricted to the
> tropical area of Africa".
> >> That is why we gave our journal the name "Journal of Afrotropical
> Zoology" and not Journal of Ethiopian Zoology. I spoke with zoologists
> from that country about the matter and they certainly were in favor of our
> decision!
> >>
> >> Herewith part of the editorial in the first issue.
> >>
> >>
> >> The Journal of Afrotropical Zoology is obviously devoted to the biology
> of animals living in the tropical part of Africa, including the islands
> with that climatic regime but excluding the area north of the Sahara.
> Although the divide between the Afrotropical and the Palaearctic realms is
> not clear-cut, it is common knowledge that it lies somewhere near the
> Tropic of Cancer (23°30'N), although some of the mountain areas south of
> it may contain Palaearctic elements and vice versa for more northern
> ranges. To the south, the entirety of Africa is included, although the
> southern tip of the continent is known to have a temperate climate.
> However, there is no clear zoological boundary between tropical and
> southern temperate and it is generally accepted that the Afrotropical
> realm includes all of South Africa.
> >>
> >> Rudy JOCQUÉ
> >> Head of Invertebrates non-insects section
> >> Royal Museum for Central Africa
> >> Department of African Zoology
> >> Leuvensesteenweg 13
> >> 3080 Tervuren, Belgium
> >> Tel.: +32 2 769 54 10 Fax : +32 2 769 56 95
> >>
> >> JOURNAL OF AFROTROPICAL ZOOLOGY
> >> ____________________________________
> >>
> >> A peer reviewed journal on Africa's fauna
> >>               without page charges
> >> http://www.africamuseum.be/publications/journals/JAZ
> >>
> >> -----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: mercredi 13 août 2008 17:36
> >> 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
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> 
> --
> 
> **********************************************************
> FabianHaas2 at gmx.net, fhaas at icipe.org, Extension -2052
> 
> www.icipe.org
> www.earwigs-online.de :: The Site on Earwig Biology
> www.fabianhaas.de :: Personal Photo Website
> 
> Dr. Fabian Haas
> ICIPE - African Insect Science for Food and Health
> Duduville Campus, Kasarani
> P.O. Box 30772 - 00100
> N A I R O B I
> Kenya
> 
> Telephone No. 	+254 (0)20 8632000
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> 
> 
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