[Taxacom] "nude" Coccinellid genera?

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Fri Mar 1 13:27:39 CST 2013

I recieved an inquiry yesterday regarding a recent (2012) checklist 
of the world genera of Coccinellidae, and was asked if I could 
confirm the existence of several names included therein. One of them, 
"Cladia Mulsant 1850", appears to be a typo for "Cladis", so that one 
was easy - and two others I found in the Nomenclator Zoologicus. But 
there are several names listed that have no author and/or no year 
indicated, and appear to be nomina nuda; I can find no evidence 
online that anyone has ever published their descriptions, and would 
appreciate any confirmation anyone here might offer. Specifically:

Sulcolotis Miyatake

This might seem to be a pretty trivial thing, except for two issues 
this case raises, and aside from soliciting help from folks to see if 
these names DO exist, I'd like to mention these issues:

(1) All four of these names have propagated online, and apparently 
first appeared in Wikipedia and Wikispecies, added by someone who had 
a copy of the 2012 checklist. Because they appear in those sources, 
the names are spreading, and any one of them will now generate 
several thousand hits on Google - not one of them indicating a place 
where they were published.
(2) This is a BRAND NEW checklist, and these authors apparently 
included names that they did not bother to confirm were genuine. How 
can one justify publishing a checklist containing over 350 genera and 
tribal names, all carefully researched and given with authors, years, 
and synonymies, and then ALSO include a bunch that have (at worst) 
never been published, or (at best) are presented without proper 
citation? Should modern authors and editors not hold to higher 
standards than those from the 1800's?

The combined effect is that in the Internet Era, what used to be a 
tiny error that only maybe a dozen people in the world ever came 
across, now can be spread worldwide and find its way into thousands 
of virtual crevices from which it might never be extracted even if 
someone comes along later and fixes it. I point this out as yet 
another example showing the necessity of quality control in taxonomy, 
and why some folks such as myself are pushing to make registration of 
names mandatory in the future.

I also noticed, in this checklist, that some genera have been coined 
using personal names, including "Robert", "Roger", "Nat", and 
"Guillermo". While not prohibited by the Code, these examples 
certainly dance along the edge of the rules, and - if nothing else - 
consider how much fun they will be for anyone who wants to do a 
Google search for them in the future. I actually do appreciate 
scientific names that are playful and humorous, but naming a genus 
"Robert" is doing no one any favors.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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