[Taxacom] Drosophila melanogaster name change?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Apr 8 15:50:30 CDT 2010

The application to the ICZN (to protect a combination!) was a ridiculous one. The application should have been to deem melanogaster to be the type species of Drosophila, setting aside all previous designations of type species for that nominal genus...



From: Dr. David Campbell <amblema at bama.ua.edu>
To: John Landolt <JLANDOLT at shepherd.edu>
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Ellinor Michel <e.michel at nhm.ac.uk>
Sent: Fri, 9 April, 2010 8:25:24 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Drosophila melanogaster name change?

> I don't quite know what to say.
> I have to admit that “dark bellied bearer of wisdom” sounds more
> elegant than “dark-bellied dew-lover".  To paraphrase Tennyson, the
> old order (subgenus?) changeth yielding place to the new (or would it
> be the even older?)

The difficulty is that the actual type species of Drosophila is not 
very closely related to D. melanogaster.  Although both of them have 
the plesiomorphic generic vinegar fly morphology, some of the exotic 
flies such as the Hawaiian ones place in between phylogenetically.  One 
can either have a huge genus Drosophila with high morphological 
disparity or else multiple genera, but then all the genetics books have 
an outdated name.  So it is yielding place to the new.  

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA


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