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Old 24th February 2006   #1
uwe
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Dear herpers,

in the latest issue of Salamandra (2006, 42, 13-20) G.Köhler and S.Steinfartz describe a novel subspecies of S.salamandra. Former Tendi valley variation of bernardezi is now alfredschmidti.

Cheers

Uwe



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Old 25th February 2006   #2
coen
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alfredschmidti...latin names aren't what they used to be.

Any more info on the new subspecie?



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Old 25th February 2006   #3
uwe
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Hi Coen,

its the Tendi valley variation of bernardezi. alfred Schmidt is a herpetologist from Frankfurt.

Uwe



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Old 25th February 2006   #4
coen
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Yes, I understood that it was from a name, but normally the names really mean something right? But I guess it isn't really important for a subspecie.



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Old 25th February 2006   #5
william
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i suppose they could have at least named it after a Spanish Herpetologist.



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Old 25th February 2006   #6
uwe
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Hi William,

I am not shure who described it first. Maybe not a spanish person.
I can check.

uwe



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Old 26th February 2006   #7
aki
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There should be some international law which prohibits German language-based names and makes them not allowed considering of scientific species names. Click the image to open in full size.

Uwe: Nothing to do with who found or described species or subspecies first unless describer particularly want to name it after that. If Köhler and Steinfartz would had wanted to name that subspecies for example after location found or according to something else spanish related, they could done so. But no...

But no! There is plenty of examples out there proving that Germans were used and still are using relatively often those German language-based names when inventing scientific names for flora and fauna, killing and thwarting the original purpose and meaning of the scientific names and the ultimately best benefit of those names. The quantity of these kind of names is huge, cause of long scientific background and history of study of biology in Germany. And even if there is plenty of scientific example names originally based on other language as well, German language lettering structure is so globally unique (e.g. plenty of consonants after another...) that the fact usually makes German -based words very difficult to learn and remember foreigners and generally those who can't speak German. At least I and many of my colleagues have had lot of difficulties to pass some fauna-/flora taxonomy examinations because of German -based scientific names Click the image to open in full size. Nothing wrong with Germans in general (lovely people, nice and big country) but we are always in a deep sh*t here when comes that time again to learn one huge taxon group with the new scientific species names, and some of them appears to be German language-based names, surprisingly... Click the image to open in full size.

I have to say that I personally appreciate more those describers especially, whose generally won't use any persons name in their nomenclature policy.

(Message edited by Aki_Suzuki on February 26, 2006)



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Old 26th February 2006   #8
francesco
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salamandra lanzai comes after Benedetto Lanza a famous italian herpetologist but I still don't understand the problem in giving to the species the name of the person who first described it.
Taxonomy is always changing due to the discovery of new and more precise technics but that has nothing to do with german people...



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Old 26th February 2006   #9
aki
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Francesco: Did you even tried to understand my point of view? Of course it has something to do with German people, but German language-based scientific species names is not the only case. There is certainly others too. And of course taxonomist who want to name species by name after "first describer (there is no such a thing than first describer, only first founder of the species. Species can be described only once and revisions and such are totally different cases) can and is allowed to do so of course, but whether he/she should do so or not, was exactly my point and it is totally different case.

Idea of structure of Linnean binomial scientific names was originally meant to based on language from Latin and Greek language. Now there is plenty of examples where names based on other language but just a converted and formulated in classic Latin form (yes, it is allowed but not recommended). Why the present situation is like that? Because some biologist and taxonomist are so full themselves that they want, when describing new species or subspecies, to name them after by their own or best pals or girl-/boyfriends name. Otherwise than Francesco, it is very difficult to digest by me that some biologist are so egoistic and greedy, fishing glory and fame from such a kind of way (I don't mean this particular case) and try to left their hand marks to the pages in history of science of biology in a pitiful way, like those who uses own name when naming some new species.

Not all taxonomist prefer this kind of policy, but there is lot of biologist who just want their own name into the species name. In this particular case of revision of Salamandra salamandra subspecies, the name is obviously given after some other herpetologist than describer self. I am not aware of details of this case, but sometimes species describer wants to praise and honour some other scientist by giving species name after that scientist. In my opinion, this kind of situation is, indeed, the only case where I see even some sense of using peoples names as a base of scientific species or subspecies name. But naming species after own name is something really pitiable, I think...

One might ask: why biologist can't use his/her own name when naming species if this one is describer of the species? The answer would be this kind of reversed question: of course he/she can do so but why the h*ll he/she should? There is plenty of other allowed and more preferred ways to name the species or subspecies than using difficult people names, not to mention the own name of describer...

EDIT: I agree with Coen Deurloo that unfortunatelly the scientific names aren't what they used to be... This whole thing was preliminarily invented firstly facilitate classification of species by their relationship status between oneselves, secondly make their international use easier, not more difficult. I am living in horror and waiting the time when someone named "Schmeisweighbkneichxandern" discovers a new species of Plethodon species for instance, and without any question want to name it after own name. Plethodon schmeisweighhbkneichxandernis or something like that... Click the image to open in full size.


(Message edited by Aki_Suzuki on February 26, 2006)



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Old 26th February 2006   #10
uwe
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Interestingly the discussion about the name is dominating instead of a serious discussion of the new subspecies. This is unfortunate and might show that vanity is more important than the science.

I hope we will get back to the animal and not his name.

BTW: I agree that an other naming would make sense (like S.s. tendii), but this up to the council giving the name.

Uwe



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Old 27th February 2006   #11
sergé
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Well, i knew it was coming and look forward to read why this form is different than it's neighboring populations. The explanation for the name should also be in the article, but i must say I haven't seen much publications from Alfred Schmidt on Salamandra...and he is certainly not the one who discovered this form...those were Spaniards who published it in 1993 already in a Spanish bulletin. But I know that one of the authors is very close to Alfred Schmidt so that could explain (remember that Salamandra atra aurorae is not aurorae because of it's coloration but because Aurora is the name of the wife of the describer...).



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Old 27th February 2006   #12
aki
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You are definitely right. Forgive me, let us cut the bull sh*t and get back to the business, discussion of the new Salamandra subspecies as Uwe originally stated...

(Message edited by Aki_Suzuki on February 27, 2006)



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Old 27th February 2006   #13
aki
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<blockquote><hr size=0><!-quote-!><font size=1>Sergé Bogaerts wrote on Monday, 27 February, 2006 - 07:38 :</font>

&quot;(remember that Salamandra atra aurorae is not aurorae because of it's coloration but because Aurora is the name of the wife of the describer...).&quot;<!-/quote-!><hr size=0></blockquote>

Heh... Something like that i meant and was talking about... Click the image to open in full size.

Yes, I am aware of the fact that original paper usually should include also the explanation and comments about origin of the name given to species and subspecies or any taxon, and in this very paper under our discussion as well should also include an explanation why describer was chosen this particular name for. Uwe or Sergé: if you have already red that paper, don't hesitate to illuminate us with some specific and major details of the recent situation of this subspecies. I will try to get it to myself asap as well... Thank you Uwe for your notification of the issue.

(Message edited by Aki_Suzuki on February 27, 2006)



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Old 28th February 2006   #14
uwe
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Hi Aki,

this subspecies is know for some years now after having described in the early 90s as a unusual coloration variation of S.s.bernardezi. Since then many people have visited this area (including myself) and having found Salamandras which are distinguishly different to the regular black and yellow pattern. Pictures could be posted.
In the article there is now a mitochondrial DNA comparison to the various subspecious around in Spain. There seems to be clear evidence, that the differences in DNa are satisfactory to have it described as subspecies. As well the morphology (size, shape and color) speaks for that.
This subspecies inhabits two small valleys (namely Tendi valley) in Asturia (northern Spain) and is sorounded by other more regular looking Salamandra.

As mentioned a rational name would be S.s.tendii.

All the best

Uwe



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Old 28th February 2006   #15
Michael Shrom
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Naming species after the collector for instance is quite common since the first half of the 19th century at least. This is not focussed on german or even german tongue researchers (cf Pleurodeles poireti, P. waltl).

If you´ll have a look at some "great" classical herpetological works (e.g. Duméril &amp; Bibron e.g.) you´ll find many descriptions of species named after someone from the authors circle of friends.

Currently a form of "sponsoring" is becoming modern again (www.biopat.de). But even this is not uncommon as in former times species have often been named after the person paying for the costs of expeditions.

Btw, if you´ll check the name Coluber Sebae in Linnaeus: Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus 1, Pars III. Editio decima tertia, aucta, reformata. Georg. Emanuel Beer, Lipsiae [Leipzig]. pp. 1033-1516.

you´ll find somethin very astonishing.......
Click the image to open in full size.



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