g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Wed Sep 29 23:55:38 EST 1999
When will someone come up with the definitive name for Capitella type I, or
otherwise sort the whole naming mess out? Please tell me it is in progress.
How many years has it been languishing now? And I see one research
group has started using a different series with alphabetical names
"Capitella sp. M" etc, (for the local Capitella) for more than one paper
rather than resolve Linnean names. This is anarchy ... or is it?
Further, a common phraseology used is "The cosmopolitan polychaete
Capitella capitata, known as a complex of sibling species"
Pardon? It's species in the plural, so cannot be encompassed by one
species name, and those species are unlikely to be all of them
cosmopolitan. Perhaps "unnamed members of the cryptic species
aggregate formerly known as Capitella capitata" would be less wince-
inducing to taxonomists and logicians. Similarly I don't like to see 'Capitella
capitata' used without qualification in paper titles when there is awareness
within the text body that the name is inappropriate.
Additionally, if ad hoc names must be used there's probably a case for
indicating a member of the complex using a superspecies notation -
Capitella (capitata) sp. M. The likelihood that Capitella (superspecies
capitata) capitata is itself impossible to define formally should not be a
deterrent, since it would never be used, and the ad hoc name is similarly
My 2 cents,
Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>
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