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Posted by Wulf Schleip on February 27, 2002 at 03:18:51:
after seeing lots of well known names on this board and following the disussion on the taxonomic papers from Ray and taxonomic papers and the role of the ICZN in general I'd like to say something, too.
I am a hobby herper and interested in all aspects of herping to learn as much as possible about the animals I keep and reptiles in gerneral.
Taxonomy to me is - as I got to know taxonomy - more then just giving names to animals. When I started reading Kluge I was amazed about the information given in the paper. Things that actually do not appear in books someone can buy at the local herp shop. So I tried to get more papers (i.e. Stimson & Underwood, McDowell etc. ). But beeing not a professional herper with the approach of getting all the journals ( Copeia, Herpetologica, etc.) makes it hard to keep in touch with the current status of taxonomy.
Well in fact I live in Bonn, Germany right next to the Institute where Wolfgang Boehme is and I have access to some journals but I do not get all of them yet! ( Sure I could subscribe to those journals but i rather spend my money for the well-beeing of my animals then paying hundreds of dollars for journals. )
Therefor I appreciate Ray's effort of publishing papers in the internet very much and I learned a lot out of them !
There is a wide gap between the professionals ( scientific ) and the amatures herpers and I'd like to agree with Scott Thomson on that.
From the scientific point of view it sure is interesting to know the differences in DNA between species ( i.e. Liasis mackloti mackloti and Liasis mackloti "dunni" ) but that doesn't mean much to me as a amature but just renaming a species I have before called "Marty". Sorry for that but that's the way I see it.
I guess the problem with taxonomy is that it isn't availabe to the public ( amatures ) and so there is no real acceptance there.
I hear my friends saying "ok, now my animal has got a nother name, so what ?..." and I myself get bored reading new names for one species almost every year asking myself if this is now valid or not.
Sometimes there is an acceptance ( i.e. Morelia nauta [HARVEY et.al. (2000)]) and sometimes just parts of revisions ( the Aspidites melanocerphalus complex or Morelia harrisoni [Hoser, (2000)].
In the long run the acceptance of new names will be seen by the use of the names by the amatures (i.e. most amatures still say Chondropython ).
Just a few of my thoughts. Thanks for your time !