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English names


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Posted by BIC on June 14, 2002 at 10:11:08:

In Reply to: Not really.... posted by Harold De Lisle on June 13, 2002 at 10:44:01:

Jerry is correct here. Society sanctioned standarized English names of reptiles and amphibians have been around for much longer than CNAH and Collins (1953, ASIH). Collins did become chair of that committee but he eventually published without committee input in 1990 and 1997. SSAR, with the HL and ASIH inserted a new chair for the standard English names and the resulting publication is the first sanctioned by all three major North American herp societies. What is the function of this committee and the list? Communication. Delisle may argue that standardization doesnít exist and cannot exist but that is clearly not the case. Please see what ornithology has been doing for years and how successful they have been in having a WORLD list of standard English names. Are herpetologists less capable than ornithologists? I donít think so. As far as species concepts are concerned, that is largely a non-issue. If evidence is provided that indicates a lineage then that lineage should be named. It is important to recognize that English names merely follow the science and in no way constitute hypotheses about lineages. The Latin names are the hypotheses, the English names are labels for convenient (hopefully) communication. Time and usage will determine the future of standard English names. If you donít like them, fine. Make your own list, but be aware that if you publish in Copeia, Journal of Herpetology, Herpetological Review, Herpetologica, or Herpetological Monographs your English names must follow the Crother et al. list.


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