[Taxacom] Centropyge (was: barcode of life)
deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Mon Jul 5 01:40:10 CDT 2010
> I disagree with you both. I believe that it would be
> best to recognize two subspecies of one widespread species in
> this case:
> Centropyge flavissima flavissima and Centropyge flavissima vroliki.
> This is more informative than leaving them separate species.
> And it would have the added benefit that in databases like
> NCBI, they would be
> alphabetically together.
In principle, that seems like a good compromise (believe me -- I
contemplated it at great length!) However, as I said, if I synonomized the
two species (even if I were to recognize them as distinct subspecies), I
very seriously doubt that any taxonomist would follow suit. Indeed, if
someone else were to do it, *I* would be reluctant to follow suit. And
among coral-reef ichthyologists (who generally don't play much with
subspecies, as you noted), I am a relatively strong advocate for more
widespread use of trinomials in cases where it makes sense to do so. I'm
just not sure this is a case where it makes sense to do so (I can think of
much better examples).
Maybe Tony Gill (who commented on another thread recently on Taxacom, based
on a paper he co-authored), can chime in on his thoughts concerning the use
of subspecies for coral-reef fishes.
Gill, Anthony C. 1999. Subspecies, geographic forms and widespread
Indo-Pacific coral-reef fish species: a call for change in taxonomic
practice. Proc. of 5th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference, 1997, (1999): 79-87.
P.S. I think you're over-reaching a bit to suggest that it's inappropriate
to use color as a primary character distinction in general, based on one
More information about the Taxacom