[Taxacom] Sophophora (a.k.a. Drosophila) melanogaster

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Fri Apr 9 13:47:24 CDT 2010

Dear All,
     When I posted a comment on Taxacom about this case (back in
February 2009), I came to the same conclusion as Francisco.  Just lump
the daughter genera into a larger Drosophila.  However, if that resulted
in more than 100 secondary homonyms, that would indeed be a nightmare (a
cure that would be worse than the problem itself).        
     As for leaving things alone, I obviously have no philosophical
problem with a paraphyletic Drosophila.  However, most paraphyletic taxa
which I recognize are singly paraphyletic, and an occasional doubly
paraphyletic taxon (like Class Reptilia).  This case, on the other hand,
involves a mother genus giving rise to quite a number of daughter
genera, and thus very highly paraphyletic.  Although my system could
code for such a highly paraphyletic taxon, it is that kind of taxa
(especially too many of them) which sparked Hennig's revolution in the
first place.  It's hard enough getting singly paraphyletic taxa accepted
these days, so a paraphyletic Drosophila is not a battle worth fighting
(in my view).  Not a battle we would most likely win anyway.
       Therefore, the least harmful option does appear to be separating
Sophophora from Drosophila, and because of the Commission's ruling,
Sophophora melanogaster will be the new combination.  But during the
next 5 to 10 years, perhaps it would be best to often use phrases like
"Sophophora (a.k.a. Drosophila) melanogaster" or "Sophophora
melanogaster (formerly in Drosophila)", especially in literature likely
to be read by a wider audience, until non-taxonomists get used to the
new combination.          
Kim van der Linde wrote: 
Yes, that is an option, which would generate a genus with 2250+ species,
and with more than 100 secondary homonyms in need a new species name.
Talk about a nightmare..... 
On 4/8/2010 6:43 PM, Francisco Welter-Schultes wrote: The case can be
solved by creating a mega-genus Drosophila >containing many species,
probably more than the currently included >1500 species, so D.
melanogaster would keep its genus-species >combination. This is the
responsibility of taxonomists. I see no constraint to >create a genus
instead of a subgenus Sophophora. 

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