Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two names for beetle genera: Batesiana and Erwiniana

The Californian entomologist Terry Erwin, in 1993, was going to give the name Batesiana to a beetle genus to honor Henry Walter Bates, one of his ancestors in neotropical forest expeditions. However, as R. Dunn is telling us in a footnote in his book Every Living Thing, this genus name was already occupied [1]: two scientists at the University of Nebraska found another kind of beetle in their collection that someone else had already given the genus name Batesiana. Two different genera cannot bear the same name. The Nebraska scientists therefore decided to change the name from Batesiana to Erwiniana to honor Erwin.

Keywords: entomology, insects, coleopterology, beetles, nomenclature

References, further reading and watching
[1] Rob R. Dunn: Every Living Thing. First Edition. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2009; see footnote on page 79.
[2] Henry Walter Bates [www.ucl.ac.uk/taxome/jim/Mim/Bates63.html].
[3] Terry Erwin about ecology, biodiversity and taxonomy
in an interview by Alida Mercado Cardenas: www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1dit-8vnjM.
[4] Tree of Life web project: tolweb.org/Erwiniana/225.

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