[Taxacom] On genera

JF Mate aphodiinaemate at gmail.com
Thu Jul 11 21:22:15 CDT 2013

... what is a genus? I would say that divergence times are irrelevant. My
own view is that a genus is just a convenient monophyletic grouping of
species, i.e. not too big, not too small, and easily recognisable. Others
may disagree ...

I would strongly agree that it is a taxonomic convenience so we can
communicate better and break down biodiversity for our understanding. I
would disagree with the need for monophyly though, and rather push for
non-polyphyletic genera, at least until taxonomists show some restraint
naming genera, or at least an equal enthusiasm for synonymizing them.
Otherwise simplicity and ease of use will be jeopardised in the name of
phylogenetic correctnes. As a final note, when we talk about easily
recognisable, maybe it should be stressed that it is for the non-specialist
(in the particular group that is).

My two cents


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