Names don't have to mean a thing!

DR. JAMES ADAMS jadams at
Tue Jun 15 10:45:37 EDT 1999

John Acorn wrote:
> I wanted to add something that I think has been missed in this discussion. 
> Names, scientific or not, do not have to mean a thing, etymologically.  They
> are simply words that correspond to species.  The Code even allows for
> random combinations of letters, and anagrams.

I think the best example of this is Kearfott's naming of a number of 
tortricids (and others).  One simply needs to look at the Checklist 
of the Lepidoptera North of Mexico (Hodges) and you will see that 
Kearfott used several assemblages of letters over and over again, 
simply changing the first letter.  For example, in the genus 
Epinotia, are the valid species zandana and xandana, in Pelochrista 
is vandana and randana, in Epiblema tandana, in Eucosma gandana, 
handana, nandana,wandana, mandana, pandana and landana, and candana 
in Cydia.  He does something similar with bobana, cocana, dodana, 
fofana, momana, lolana, totana, and hohana in Eucosma, as well as 
popana and rorana in Pelochrista, sosana in Epiblema, zozana in 
Rhyacionia, and kokana in Phaneta.  He's described the valid species 
tomonana, zomonana, womonana, momonana, and lomonana in      
various genera, and raracana, daracana, baracana, naracana, haracana, 
faracana, maracana, laracana, saracana in others.  The Cochylidae has 
one of my favorites, the genus Hysterosia, which has two 
groups named by Kearfott:  riscana, biscana, discana, viscana, 
wiscana, and ziscana; and foxcana, toxcana, voxcana, and zoxcana.  It 
also includes the species waracana, zaracana and another baracana, as 
well as bomonana, romonana and nomonana.  Needless to say, a lot of 
names *mean* nothing.  Again I will refer you to Doug Yanega's 
website for an enjoyable read of some rather non-scientific 
"scientific" names.


Dr. James K. Adams
Dept. of Natural Science and Math
Dalton State College
213 N. College Drive
Dalton, GA  30720
Phone: (706)272-4427; fax: (706)272-2533
U of Michigan's President James Angell's 
  Secret of Success: "Grow antennae, not horns"

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