[Taxacom] Drosophila melanogaster name change?

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Fri Apr 9 09:12:51 CDT 2010

From: "Paul Kirk" <p.kirk at cabi.org>
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2010 8:29 AM

> the problem IS the taxonomist ... they are capability driven rather than
> customer led ... with obvious consequences.
> same thing has happened with the name of the organism which is one of
> the largest causes of death in ummunocompromised people ... pneumocystis
> carinii - became pneumocystis jirovecii ... but it's more complicated
> than the Drosophila case.
> Paul

A closer parallel is the case of Acacia: a big genus (circa 1300 spp.) that
is due to be split up. A proposal to conserve this with a new type was
published, so as to keep the name for the largest number of species (circa a
thousand, mostly Australian species). In the (then) Committee for
Spermatophyta and the General Committee this received the required 60%
majority for it to be passed on with a recommendation, but it was voted 55%
against by the Nomenclature Section of the International Botanical Congress
at Vienna, resulting in something of a procedural mess, but demonstrating
how sensitive such issues are.

The case is not quite parallel as there are (a lot) more wellknown Acacia
species than just one, and there would be a noticeable upset for the public,
no matter what was decided.

No doubt the solution that taxonomists may not split up big well-known
genera would be popular with the general public...


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