Re: new species

Ross Koning (
Tue, 23 Aug 1994 12:31:52 -0500

>Just in case you did not know yet, a new paper on _Pinguicula_ did hit the
>Billie L. TURNER
>"Two new gypsophilic species of _Pinguicula_ (Lentibulariaceae) from Nuevo
>Leon, Mexico"
>PHYTOLOGIA 76(1):69-72 (1994)
>In this, _P.jorgehintonii_ and _P.hintoniorum_ are described as new
>species. Both are very closely related to (rather sspp. or vars. than
>independent spp.) _P.esseriana_. I fear the whole range of variability in
>this complex is still not completely covered by names. I have seen
>specimens which are even more different (from _P.esseriana_, _P.ehlersiae_,
>_P.jaumavensis_, _P.jorgehintonii_, and _P.hintoniorum_).

B. L. Turner is a rather (in)famous systematist. While he is
a very dynamic personality, I am not sure I trust his thorough
investigation into the existing nomenclature before he jumps
to name new species. He has bullied his way into a position
of status among systematists, but I think careful study of his
work reveals a lack of complete preparation. He and I had
a run-in some years ago about _Gaillardia_, a genus in which
he has named many new species. Clearly he was not aware
of the older literature and certainly had little awareness of named
cultivars. I was floored that someone naming new species
would not know the existing literature describing known
species. I would certainly approach his "new" find with
skepticism. I do not pretend to know much about Ping.
nomenclature, but I would certainly want to take his descriptions
to the test of older literature to be sure he was not "renaming"
or "splitting" extant species.

Jan's comment:
> but I cannot
>interpret these as really distinct at specific rank. However, as
>long as no comprehensive synopsis of the whole complex can be
>presented we have (preliminarily) to accept the existing names as
makes some sense to me....but let's wait until the descriptions stand up
to scrutiny before accepting the new names as valid. I think we can all
be taken down a path that may have to be rerouted later and that can be
costly. I'd prefer to take a more conservative route. I also despise
new nomenclature that uses personal names rather than descriptors. I
thought that this kind "hero worship" was forbidden by the botanical


Ross Koning Internet:
Biology Department Phone: (203)-465-5327
Eastern CT State University Fax: (203)-465-5213
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA