[Taxacom] Herpetological Common Names

Fautin, Daphne G. fautin at ku.edu
Sun Aug 2 13:34:47 CDT 2015


I was thinking about things like coleus, gardenia, colocasia, begonia, cymbidium, cyclamen, etc., etc.  These are not from technical articles -- they are the names hobbyist gardeners use.

I understand the value of scientific names and the ambiguity of names such as "robin."  I am pointing out that scientific names are used quite comfortably for many plants -- but the same is not true for animals.


Daphne G. Fautin
Professor Emerita, University of Kansas

skype: daphne.fautin

database of sea anemones
hercules.kgs.ku.edu/Hexacoral/Anemone2/index.cfm

________________________________________
From: Robin Leech [releech at telus.net]
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2015 1:27 PM
To: Fautin, Daphne G.; 'Mary Barkworth'; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Herpetological Common Names

Hi Daphne,

True, but also birch, aspen, dandelion, cranberry, strawberry, etc.,
without reference to a scientific name.  For the most part, scientific
names for plants are used in technical articles just to make sure that
there is no confusion about the species - as sometime (at least in the
animal world) a common name may cover 2-3 species in different genera and
families in different parts of the world, e.g., "robin".

For things like Populus tremuloides and P. balsamifera, both scientific
and common names are used, but in something like Dryas crenata, where there
is ID confusion, I believe that common names are avoided.

But, regarding scientific names for birds, for example, many thousands of
birders DO NOT use the scientific name, and, literally, have fits when the
common name that has been used for years is either dropped or made to include
what they had regarded as another species under another name.  The Slate-grey
Junco is an example.

In checking around in Google, I found that in some cases, a particular species
of spider may have as many as 4 common names in the same geographic region.  Part
of what We and I are about is to resolve such problems, hence my question to the
birders, the Herpetologists and generally to Taxonomists.

Robin

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Fautin, Daphne G.
Sent: August-02-15 12:06 PM
To: Mary Barkworth; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Herpetological Common Names

But people use scientific names for plants all the time -- especially gardeners.  So this obscurity seems to apply only to animals.


Daphne G. Fautin
Professor Emerita, University of Kansas

skype: daphne.fautin

database of sea anemones
hercules.kgs.ku.edu/Hexacoral/Anemone2/index.cfm

________________________________________
From: Taxacom [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] on behalf of Mary Barkworth [Mary.Barkworth at usu.edu]
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2015 11:53 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Herpetological Common Names

I am with Fred on this but the question was about establishing them. I suggest that students be required to memorize an use them in all their classes, with it being explained that J.Q. Public is incapable of learning unfamiliar names, at least not once they get to their teens. Then require all government agencies and their employees to use them and make the manufactured name more conspicuous in all books and documents. This will help ensure that scientific names are considered difficult, obscure, abstruse, a (pick your term) - fit only for people that live in ivory towers.

Mary
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