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Re: Classification: A Definition

On 5/24/07, gerarus@westnet.com.au <gerarus@westnet.com.au> wrote:

You're quite right, and even workers who are used to the idea of rank-free taxa still tend to cringe when seeing one '-idae' within another. I had to stop myself a couple of years ago on the cusp of sending off a toxic message to the DML about the PhyloCode Testudines classification paper in _Journal of Paleontology_ (I can't recall the reference, unfortunately),

Joyce, W.J., J.F. Parham, and J.A. Gauthier. 2004. Developing a protocol for the conversion of rank-based taxon names to phylogenetically defined clade names, as exemplified by turtles. Journal of Paleontology 78:989â1013.

because they had given clades containing
multiple "genera" but only one surviving "genus" names like
Pancarettochelys - I was about to moan about clade names formed like
such, until I realised I didn't have any actual _arguments_ to
support myself, and my only real argument was "the names just look
icky" ;-).

There is a more serious problem with this type of prefix (namely that "Pan" is already in use: e.g., Panarthropoda is not the total group of Arthropoda), but the latest draft of the PhyloCode solves it by making the prefix hyphenated. Thus, the total group would be _Pan-Carettochelys_ now (and might even change again to something like pan-Carettochelys in a future draft--we'll see). (For the arthropods, we would have pan-Arthropoda and pan-Panarthropoda, which is still a bit cringe-inducing, but is at least distinguishable.)

I have a greater problem with the portmanteau names in that
paper--taking the first part of one genus name and appending it to the
second part of another genus name to form the name of the node-based
clade specified by them.
Mike Keesey