lep names

Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca
Wed Jan 31 12:56:04 EST 2001

This may be helpful. I hope so.  Taxonomic decisions are made by individual
people or a group of people who have agreed to reach a decision through
negotiation and consensus.  To the extent that the committee results will
help individuals and groups make "better" decisions; I support the
initiative.  I trust that the committee will bring forward the results of
its deliberations firstly as a discussion paper for review by the broader
lepidoptera community.  A position statement is self-defeating and
communicates that the authors of said position statement are unwilling to
consider other views.  Maybe the historical practice of one or several
practitioners making "decrees" in taxonomy was useful and acceptable in the
distant past.  It does not wash in a democratic society populated by
intelligent and educated people.  People who wish to market their view of
taxonomic correctness had best learn how to inluence and convince other
people. Taxonomic correctness by committee edict or because some expert
'said so' just does not cut it. It only serves to alienate people.  Also it
would be wonderful to have an updated list of the butterflies of Canada and
the USA and even all of North America eventually.  It must include
subspecies to be useful and comprehensive.  People who do not like
subspecies and who do not appreciate the importance of having names for
communication purposes can simply ignore them.  Deliberately leaving a
validly named taxon out of such a list would be inexcusable. It would be
nothing more than a feeble attempt at censorship. If the writers want to
express their opinion of a particular taxon/name; then that is useful and
encouraged.  Any and all changes from the previous miller/brown/ferris
checklists need to be thoughtfully explained and referenced so that readers
can a) understand, b) check original sources if they do not find the writers
arguments to be convincing.  If there is not full agreement on a name or
rank status matter; this needs to be duely noted.  Kinda silly to present
only one version as "correct" when other knowledgable people do not think it
is correct. List creators are welcome to present their preference; just
don't present it as the gospel when there are other views on the gospel.
-----Original Message-----
From: Ernest Williams [mailto:ewilliam at hamilton.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 8:55 AM
To: Leps-l at lists.yale.edu
Subject: lep names
Lep folks,
FYI, at its annual meeting last summer, the Lep Soc passed a motion:
"that a committee be formed to draft a position statement on the
rules and guidelines by which taxonomic decisions are made and to
examine the possibility of developing a list of scientific names for
North American butterflies."
>Dear Wanda,
>     As I said this is a can of worms. Are you saying there was some kind
>power struggle in Lep. Soc. some time ago the rest of us do not know about?
>You have brought up Opler and Robbins (of the Smithsonian), two pretty
>imposing figures on the American leps scene - and "others".  Who are the
>others? Can you tell us who?
>     It sounds like you are implying that they wanted to implement some
>of taxonomic policy from the Lep Soc roost and when they could not prevail
>that they went their own way somehow? Surely you are not saying that. Opler
>is a past Lep. Soc. president and Robbins is the current President for
>Pete's sake.
>     If something was on some board meeting docket and it got shot down,
>you tell us why it got shot down? And, what exactly is the "it" (plan?)
>that got shot down?
>     There is one thing in your post that does strike me as way off. You
>said that Lep Soc "... would not even take the responsibility to come up
>with a list of BFs -- in any way, shape or form..."  Then what do you call
>the Lep Soc dos Passos list, the Lep Soc Miller/Brown list, and Lep Soc
>Ferris list? And even the adopted Hodges MONA list -- chopped liver?
>     Since you do not see Lep Soc as = to AOU, do you see NABA or USGS or
>USFW as = to AOU?
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Dameron, Wanda" <be496 at lafn.org>
>To: "Ron Gatrelle" <gatrelle at tils-ttr.org>
>Cc: <Fred.Heath at power-one.com>; "Leps-l" <Leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
>Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 12:50 AM
>Subject: Re: USGS data - Shuey-etc.
>>  Ron Gatrelle wrote:
>>  >
>>  > Dear Fred,
>>  >     This may or may not be a can of opened worms. No, it is absolutely
>a can of huge worms. So here goes. The following is not my idea - it is
>what  I have been told by some who do both birds and butterflies. The
>Lepidopterists' Society is to NABA, USGS etc. as the Ornithological Union
>>  > is to the Audubon Society.
>>  Dear Ron,
>>  The basic premise you were told is a complete fallacy.   It could not
>>  be further from the truth!  LepSoc would not even take the
>>  responsibility to come up with a list of BFs -- in any way, shape or
>>  form....   That is why Opler, Robbins and others were trying to set up
>>  something similar to the AOU, but got shot down....
>>  Cheers, Wanda
>  >
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