Standardized Butterfly Names

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at
Mon Mar 23 04:17:01 EST 1998

	Tish Silberbauer & Dave Britton asked:

> Is this NABA list generally recognized by the US butterflying community?

I doubt that the U.S. butterflying community is that homogenous. There
is certainly a sizeable segment that uses scientific names even in casual
conversation. In the arctic, where practically no butterflies have true
vernacular common names, I have rarely heard common names used by lepidop-
terists. On the other hand, I have not run into NABA members in the arctic.

	I would guess that the NABA list is recognized by the NABA, but
not necessarily by many people in the Lepidopterists' Society. There is
another list of common names (slightly less prescriptive than the NABA
list) edited by Jacqueline Miller, which appears to be used by the Xerces
Society, and by many in the Lepidopterists' Society. I am not aware of
any attempt to reconcile these two lists.

	Silberbauer & Britton also asked:

> How do you get change to come about if the main people who should insti-
> tute that change are not cooperative?

The history of science gives a clear answer to that question: wait until
the older scientists die.  :-)

							Ken Philip
fnkwp at

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