[Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

David Campbell pleuronaia at gmail.com
Mon Jan 13 13:50:29 CST 2014

> Endless debate over Latin grammar doesn't really help biological
> understanding!

However, it doesn't especially hurt understanding, as long as users are
aware that epithets with similar endings are possibly variants of the same
name.  The biggest potential for problems is Latin-insensitive databases
which in turn get interpreted at face value to produce impressive-looking
results with poor grounding in reality.  Existing name usages must be dealt
with and correctly synonymized, no matter what rules are developed for the
future.  As far as I know, no one has been particularly confused by the
correction of the double error in Toxolasma cylindrella to T. cylindrellus
(Toxolasma is neuter and cylindrellus is a noun), for example.  Only two of
the first 20 Google hits have cylindrellus, so getting everything corrected
will likely take a while, but it's gradually making the rounds.
Conversely, Lea's sloppiness in type locality causes significant problems
for T. corvunculus.

There are relatively few problematic epithets; a few simple rules would
easily allow automatic highlighting of the vast majority of likely
duplicates, if a database were actually designed for taxonomic

Dr. David Campbell
Assistant Professor, Geology
Department of Natural Sciences
Box 7270
Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs NC 28017

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