another trash name

Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX Norbert.Kondla at
Mon Sep 10 16:26:01 EDT 2001

Excellent point. Some people think that more data and better phylogenies
will put to bed the differing interpretations about where to draw the
genus/subgenus and species/subspecies line. Here we have a case where we
have excellent data and what looks to me like a pretty darn good phylogeny.
BUT we can all still examine this information and draw completely different
taxonomic rank interpretations. By way of example we can treat these as one
genus as outlined below. We can also have numerous finely divided genera.
Thirdly we can use the subgenus category and for example treat Aglais as a
subgenus of Nymphalis. Probably one can construct even other rank
interpretations. I for one prefer to keep genus names to a minimum because
they are an obligatory category. This still leaves the subgenus rank
available for those who wish to communicate finer distinctions that the
majority of people probably do not care about. Natural groups are a useful
concept but there certainly is no requirement that all natural groups have a
formal name in the name heirarchy. The eternal question in all these matters
is: How big (or small) do we build that corral before we put the butterflies
into it :-) and regardless of the size, do we need to put a formal name on
the corral ??

-----Original Message-----
From: Jaakko Kullberg [mailto:jaakko.kullberg at]
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 12:40 PM
To: leps-l at
Subject: Re: another trash name

Hi there!

"Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX" <Norbert.Kondla at> wrote in message
news:60F1FEB31CA3D211A1B60008C7A45F430EDAB476 at

A truely
> excellent piece of work by Nylin et al 2001 presents sufficient reasons to
> cause me to place it in the genus Polygonia. People who like very narrowly
> defined monotyypic genera will want to place it in Roddia. Nymphalis does
> not appear to be defensible any longer.

I agree that the work of Hylin et al. is excellent. However I feel that it
would be the most informative way to join all these nearly monotypic genera
to one entity - Nymphalis (= + Polygonia (=Roddia), Kanaske, Inachis,
Aglais). These genera are merely different species groups. Even the Leps
themselves have problems with relatioships to each other: Aglais urticae
males are often very interested i to do "it" with  Inachis io and N.
antiopa. Lumping of  all these genera together with each other is - as I
remember - strongly supported in cladogram and undoubtly they form a nice
monophyletic group. This lumping is much easier to understand if we look
underside of wings and do not let the bright colour disturb.

How you feel?



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