Capitella

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Wed Sep 29 23:55:38 EST 1999


Hello ANNELIDA,

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 
informal.      

My 2 cents,

Cheers,

--
  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>

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