English Names

Boydtd at aol.com Boydtd at aol.com
Tue Jun 8 05:43:39 EDT 1999

Dear Chris,

Of course I agree with what you said on this subject, but as some species are 
holarctic ie found in bot the old and new worlds, it would be logical and 
helpful if they carried the same English name in both worlds.  This need not 
be too rigorously enforced as we in the British Isles sometimes have more 
than one name in current usage for the same species eg The Gatekeeper alias 
Hedge Brown (Pyronia tithonus), and this doesn't seem to cause problems.  I 
doubt if we would ever change Camberwell Beauty for Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis 
antiopa) even though the latter is the more descriptive name.  Then there is 
the Monarch or Milkweed butterfly (Danaus plexippus), the Chequered Skipper 
or Arctic Skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon), the Holly Blue or Azure Blue 
(Celastrina argiolus) etc. etc.  What is more confusing is when scientific 
names do not agree.  Are tortoiseshells in the genus Aglais or Nymphalis - it 
seems to depend on which side of the Atlantic you are.  Surely that could be 
be agreed.

Trever Boyd (Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland)

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