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-idae, -oidea, etc.



Jaime Headden posted a rebuttal to my proposed enforcing of clade name types, but I unfortunately appear to have deleted it.

Anyhow, I was not saying that names ending in -idae should only be given to clades of a particular size, time-depth, whatever.  Nor was I saying that the sister group to an -idae clade would have to be another -idae clade.

All I meant was, if there exists a clade X-idae, there should be no more inclusive clade than X-idae whose name consists of a genus name plus -idae, -inae, -ini, or -ina.  We've still got -ia, -iformes, -omorpha, -i, -ae, -es, etc., to work with (though I think it would not be a terrible idea eventually to rank some of these relative to one another as well).

I think we've all figured out by now that assigning a particular clade name type to any sort of *absolute* rank is futile.  However, I still think ranking the clade name types *relative* to one another is extremely helpful.  Can't you see a benefit to being able to look at a clade whose name ends in -idae and know instantly that it is less inclusive than one ending in -oidea (if it exists) and more inclusive than one ending in -inae?

--Nick P.