Nomenclature help

By Alex Calder
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Alex Calder
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Nomenclature help

Post by Alex Calder » Wed May 07, 2008 6:20 pm

Mark up and possible listings so far:
Genus species
Genus species Location
Genus sp. Location
Genus sp. Common Name
Genus cf. species
Genus aff. species

Is this all correct and have I missed anything?

I have a lot of help from my users but redundancy is always a plus when programming.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Alex Calder » Sat May 17, 2008 12:30 pm

A decision was made to use the Catalog of Fishes from The California Academy of Sciences. Along the way I started a discussion in email with Bill (Dr. Eschmeyer) that has now grown into a very positive conversation.

For the most part it appears we have our nomenclature well in hand.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Philippe Burnel » Sat May 17, 2008 12:57 pm

Alex Calder wrote:A decision was made to use the Catalog of Fishes from The California Academy of Sciences.

Well ...forget Métriaclima and use (the right way) Maylandia as do Eshmeyer

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Lisachromis » Sat May 17, 2008 2:49 pm

Philippe Burnel wrote:
Alex Calder wrote:A decision was made to use the Catalog of Fishes from The California Academy of Sciences.

Well ...forget Métriaclima and use (the right way) Maylandia as do Eshmeyer
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=194

Depends on which argument you follow....

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Sat May 17, 2008 4:44 pm

I was previously unaware of that thread, and so read the entire thing. Now my head hurts, thanks a lot, Lisa! :lol:

This brings up another conundrum: the use of Tropheops as a genus. This name was erected by Trewavas as a subgenus in 1984, in the same journal as the disputed description as the subgenus Maylandia. In comments made in the Aqualog on Mbuna, Ad Konings states that, "Without further much ado, we can also start using the generic name Tropheops for the species currently in Ribbink et.al.'s Ps. tropheops complex. Tropheops was suggested and defined as a subgenus (my underlining) by Trewavas in 1984 for these species and can without further much ado be elevated to full generic status." Not without publication to justify the elevation it can't, and Mr. Konings fails to mention any such publication. A simple comment cannot be construed as publishing a justification for changing the status of Tropheops from subgenus to Genus. So, since I am not that informed on current Mbuna classification, can someone please tell me if such a justification has been published? Was it a part of the Stauffer, et. al., paper?

As a killifish enthusiast, I have met and discussed such subjects many times with the likes of Dr. Jim Thomerson, Dr. Lynn Parenti, and several others. As a Characiform enthusiast, I've gotten a great deal of information from conversations with Dr. Stan Weitzman. Yes, THE Dr. Weitzman, and Marilyn Weitzman. As a hobbyist, I chafe at attitudes like that of Dr. Gery, that we aren't qualified to make such judgements. However, as an informed hobbyist, I also know that many out there tend to go beyond the bounds of their knowledge, sometimes even ignoring the rules that they do know. Ask me about Chromaphyosemion some time (Killifish).
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Alex Calder » Tue May 20, 2008 10:22 am

Thank you both Philippe and Lisa, I'm dong a little reading now. ;)

I will also start a debate within my group on Métriaclima vs Maylandia, I guess in order to take the reigns on this one I have to familiarize myself with the debate. This fish business is beginning to sound like programming there is no true right way,only ways that work better or make more sense. ;)

Since you folks were quick to point out that issue, would you care to verify what I gleaned from the ICZN?
"sp." is the correct case and not "Sp."?

For that matter since I am asking, I saw a lot of examples where sp. was used and the word after was not in quotes.
If they are the governing body what is the rule there?

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Alex Calder » Tue May 20, 2008 12:12 pm

Philippe,

Based on the rules within the "INTERNATIONAL CODE OF ZOOLOGICAL NOMENCLATURE" Maylandia would be the correct reference if only because those who proposed Metriaclima made there own mistake within the same rules they argue about. Some what funny in an ironic sense. No disrespect to Ad Konings whom I met on one occasion and found to be very engaging and friendly, which came as a very pleasant surprise.

I am a programmer which means I work in raw logic much of the time. Now while this ICZN is a classic example of a mess, I do find within it the rules that dictate a logical outcome.

If Metriaclima had originally been proposed as a replacement to Maylandia based on the arguments given By Konings in that thread then the only logical outcome would have been to replace Maylandia. However that is not the way it appeared to occur according to what I read and therefore two names exist. In such a situation the earlier one takes precedence. Provided my information is correct then arguing against this logic would prove as pointless as arguing that "if($value=1)" would not always be true. ;)

Now I proposed to my people a similar argument and asked them, "How correct do you want to be?"

I write the code and try to leave the semantics to them. However occasionally I must step in to make a ruling and when such situations occur I seek the council of trusted sources such as yourselves. Fortunately I have taken on some help with the coding which is leaving me time to start sorting out such issues.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Mark Smith » Tue May 20, 2008 6:29 pm

Hi Alex:

Do you have any examples of the mistakes you indicate: "only because those who proposed Metriaclima made there own mistake within the same rules they argue about."

Just curious.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Alex Calder » Tue May 20, 2008 6:49 pm

I was meaning the "mistakes" quite possibly created in translation that were mentioned in the thread here.
Confusion over whether and actual description of differences was rendered.

From reading the code earlier it is also my understanding that a Genera based on description would super
cede a Genera based on a name. If this is correct then that would be the vector that should have been
argued if they had asked for a replacement.

Either which way it really does not matter as logically Maylanda is correct due to the fact that Metriaclima
was not requested as a replacement but instead submitted as a name.

The following is not meant to insult anyone, but more to release a little frustration on time "wasted" today.
Keep in mind I am neither a scientist nor a lawyer. The code to me is a convoluted mess that could use a serious
overhaul. When something so fundamentally important becomes so difficult to read that it requires an expert to
understand it there is a problem. It seems like every time there is an attempt to simplify an aspect ten other
aspects are further complicated. So my complaint of wasted time is that I had a situation that should not have
as complicated for me to solve, bu due to the code it was. This is the same reason why there are so many
arguments on these matters. If the code were simpler it would reduce the interpretation.

I'm off my soap box now.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Alex Calder » Wed May 21, 2008 3:56 am

I have written a beautiful piece of code that queries Dr. Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes for taxonomic information.
After I have had a chance to discuss the code with him some more I will update you on what my little masterpiece
will do for the project.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Lisachromis » Wed May 21, 2008 8:28 am

Alex Calder wrote:From reading the code earlier it is also my understanding that a Genera based on description would super cede a Genera based on a name. If this is correct then that would be the vector that should have been
argued if they had asked for a replacement.

Either which way it really does not matter as logically Maylanda is correct due to the fact that Metriaclima
was not requested as a replacement but instead submitted as a name.
Just curious (and being a bit of devil's advocate here)....

Ad's argument is that Maylandia is invalid because there was no (proper?) description for the genus given, so therefore it's nomen nudem and cannot be used. The genus to be used would be Metriaclima since it would be the first genus named that complies with the rules.

If I misunderstand this, I'm sure someone will correct me.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Philippe Burnel » Wed May 21, 2008 10:28 am

Lisachromis wrote: Ad's argument is that Maylandia is invalid because there was no (proper?) description for the genus given, so therefore it's nomen nudem and cannot be used.

That's absolutly wrong there is a valid description for Maylandia.
There are people who are unable to translate it and understand it correctly from french.
This is the origin of the problem.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Alex Calder » Wed May 21, 2008 1:01 pm

My beautiful piece of code must go hide in my personal code library as I must respect the requests of those involved.

Philippe, Lisa was clarifying her understanding of Ad's position not arguing validity.

Lisa your understanding of Ad's position is correct.

He made a mistake in his argument which has exploded over the meaning of one word.
Had he instead chosen to argue that his name was better because it described the Genus
versus the other which attributed a person's name the argument would be over and we would
all use Metriaclima. He chose instead argue contextual semantics of one word.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Lisachromis » Wed May 21, 2008 2:56 pm

Alex Calder wrote:Philippe, Lisa was clarifying her understanding of Ad's position not arguing validity.

Lisa your understanding of Ad's position is correct.
Exactly. Was stating what I believed Ad was trying to say.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Philippe Burnel » Thu May 22, 2008 12:57 am

Alex Calder wrote: name was better because it described the Genus versus the other which attributed a person's name the argument would be over and we would all use Metriaclima.
The name itself is NOT the problem !!! It could have been described as DGHJGIHFHFDXHFXCH instead of Maylandia, GHJGIHFHFDXHFXCH would be valid !. The problem is in the diagnosis of Maylandia wich is not understood and judged as invalid.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Alex Calder » Thu May 22, 2008 4:24 pm

He made a mistake in his argument which has exploded over the meaning of one word.
Had he instead chosen to argue that his name was better because it described the Genus
versus the other which attributed a person's name the argument would be over and we would
all use Metriaclima. He chose instead argue contextual semantics of one word.
Philippe,

The bold part is what I feel you missed, though I could have stated it more clearly.
I will try again, please read what I write thoroughly before jumping to any conclusion.
You are arguing with a person who happens to agree with you and the irony of the
situation is that it stems from more semantics of language.

He argued that the description was invalid. His argument appears to be predicated around one word
that does not properly translate to English. Taken in its proper French context the word does not create
this issue. Were the code to specifically cite English as the language of documentation then this
argument would have merit, however since it does not specify English then the argument has no merit.
The submission must be taken in the language it was submitted and should not be ruled on after
translation where it can lose meaning.

After further reading into the ICZN code I realize that my second part is not correct.

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Philippe Burnel » Fri May 23, 2008 12:56 am

Alex
I know you agree with me.
I explain for those who don't !

(english is not my usual language and I must say that sometimes I've problems to explain or read)

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Re: Nomenclature help

Post by Alex Calder » Fri May 23, 2008 3:44 pm

Philippe Burnel wrote:Alex
I know you agree with me.
I explain for those who don't !

(english is not my usual language and I must say that sometimes I've problems to explain or read)
All points understood. My Spanish is pathetic and my French is horrible( I can not even curse in French), I can
read both but lose a lot in translation.

I asked one of my aunts to translate the paper for me, my extended family has a gift with languages, her response
was that too much would be lost to provide the intended meaning. That settled the argument for me.

Now my main concern with my Cichlidbase is that I am correctly formatting via the ICZN code.
The code is so complicated that I am very limited in my understanding, it also seems to avoid covering some
of the issues that pop up in Cichlids. I would like to list my names as they would be displayed to the end user
and would appreciate any and all criticisms as accuracy is critical to me. I am interested in word structure and
markup.

Genus species
Genus species Population
Genus species subspecies
Genus species subspecies Population

Genus sp. Species
Genus sp. Species Population

Genus af. species
Genus af. species Population

Genus cff. species
Genus cff. species Population

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