Names . . .

K.J.Caley Kevin.Caley at
Thu Jun 10 17:40:19 EDT 1999


> [lots of very good points snipped, as can't add anything more that is
> useful].

Michael did mention the use of local names as vernaculars, particular if
there isn't an English one avaiable (and gave a good example) - this is
just as valid, I think (it's something that I do all the time!)

>  The Great-Spangled
> Fritillary, the Variegated Fritillary, all the Lesser Fritillaries,
> although all nymphalids, are reasonably closely related but certainly
> not congeneric.  Throw in the Gulf Fritillary (at least in a
> different subfamily) and the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary (the only
> metalmark in Europe) and you can see what I mean.

And then you have the Frittillaria fritillaries, which are relatives of
the lily and not animals at all!

> What to make of all of this?  Don't be frightened of learning
> *either* set of names.  Learning scientific names can be fun, but
> doesn't automatically put you above your common-name using public,
> and knowing common names doesn't make you any less scientific.

It shouldn't either - it just means that a wider audience will be able to
understand what animal or plant you are actually talking about (and not
just among the scientists....we are human, after all!)


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