[Taxacom] Drosophila melanogaster name change?

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Fri Apr 16 05:30:26 CDT 2010

Google is a bad method for such purposes, and it is getting worse 
all the time, it yields different results in all countries and 
probably depends also on browsers and stuff. Of course anyone doing 
that research must check the whole list of names within a few minutes 
at the same computer by the same method, this is the only way to 
be able to compare results. You cannot compare your results with "a 
few days later" because then Google may have implemented another 

Don't search without quotation marks. 
Try to look for Homo erectus with and without quotation marks - 
without will yield many more hits. 

Finally, the number of hits is not true, it is just a very bad 
estimate that Google gives, the number of true web pages you will 
find is 10-1000 times less.

"Helix aspersa" gives 123,000 hits in the headline, but if you 
click to the last page of hits you find only 492 pages in reality. 
These two numbers are not necessarily correlated. 

A few years ago the quotation marks had the function that only 
the exact combination was searched - meanwhile this has changed and 
Google dos not provide any method any more that excludes tolerant 
search. It is not possible any more to search for the exact 
combination "fourcroy and geoffroy" and to exclude other 
combinations. It still is possible to search for "fourcroy et 
geoffroy", this excludes other combinations. But soon also this will 
not be possible any more. From this point of view Google is getting 
worse every day.

Kim: I agree with you in some points. I would certainly have voted to 
change Drosophila's type species. Or rather, I would have proposed to 
ask users in a public survey for their opinion. D. funebris has 1/100 
of the Google hits of D. melanogaster, I would have set these in 
relation to expected public votes. But democratic ideas and the 
Commission are two things that do not really fit together.

University of Goettingen, Germany

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