Common Names update

Mike Quinn Mike.Quinn at
Mon Apr 1 16:01:11 EST 2002

Ron, In your three replies, you attempted to rebut every single sentence
except the following:

"There's a strong correlation between the number of subspp. a taxon has and
the number of amateur enthusiasts involved. Examples include Tiger and
Longhorn Beetles, Butterflies, Orchids, and Cacti (though the latter two are
further split by crossbreeding). I believe there are relatively few subspp.
described for Moths, Diptera, and Hymenoptera. This is not to suggest that
there is no utility to subspp. Apis mellifera L. has numerous important

This is the crux of my view of subspecies. If someone tried to publish a
paper today describing a bunch of subspp. of Staphylinids, Braconids, or
Chalcidoids I think he or she would be politely asked to get a life.

Your reference to the doctor with too many patients is an apt analogy for
today's ever older and ever fewer systematists. I think their time would be
best spent working on the many entomological groups which have no specialist
rather than further dividing the charismatic butterflies. 

Mike Quinn

PS: I don't recall mentioning my political persuasion. For all you know, I
voted for Nader!



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