Re: new species

Jan Schlauer (
Tue, 23 Aug 1994 21:55:14 +0100


>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.

These are rather drastic words for the things I feared already. He does not
cite a single literature reference (but he does not forget to thank a bunch
of friends who helped him his way) in his paper.

BTW, hi Billie, do you read this? I did not intend to offend anyone but
this just was no good style. But given the above, we can hope (or fear?) to
hear more from BLT, and maybe he will eventually disclose *which*
literature on newly described species of _Pinguicula_ he received from his
friends (and if he has really read it!).

>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.

He was obviously splitting extant (but very variable) species.

>....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.

Yes, in any event. This was exactly what I wanted to propose (sorry if my
clumsy comments came through the wrong way). If a name is valid this does
not necessarily mean the corresponding taxon to be sufficiently distinct
from others! It may be a (taxonomic) synonym even if it is a
nomenclaturally independent name (i.e. based on another type).

>I also despise new nomenclature
>that uses personal names rather than descriptors. I thought
>that this kind "hero worship" was forbidden by the botanical

As far as I know, it is not forbidden, but it is not recommended either. At
least the Hinton family did really much to improve our knowledge about
Mexican Lentibulariaceae. Unfortunately, some plants named in their honour
might deserve some "older" epithets...

Together with really new species it is these little quarrels which render
taxonomy so fascinating. One can learn much about plants but one quite
inevitably does learn more about taxonomists! 8-)

Kind regards