Names don't have to mean a thing!

Kathleen Moon kmoon at
Tue Jun 15 12:16:03 EDT 1999

"DR. JAMES ADAMS" wrote:
> 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.

James has a very good point.  I will add that it seems that Kearfott is
probably not the only one to have done this.  Who, after all, described
the members of the genera Nadata and Datana?  Again, look at Hodges'

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