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Oh jeez, as if human created common names weren't bad enough... :lol:

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45 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Oh jeez, as if human created common names weren't bad enough... :lol:

"Heart and dart" for a fat noctuid moth? Well, maybe those naturalists were getting too excited with their subjects, but nothing too serious.

Green junebug for Cotinis? Well, a pretty bad one, considering that Cotinis isn't even in the junebeetle group Melolonthinae and doesn't behave like one either, but still understandable.

 

But "Japanese beetle" for Popillia japonica (the fact remains that there are PLENTY OF COLEOPTERAN SPECIES IN JAPAN)? Um... I think that name speaks for itself.

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3 hours ago, Test Account said:

"Heart and dart" for a fat noctuid moth? Well, maybe those naturalists were getting too excited with their subjects, but nothing too serious.

Green junebug for Cotinis? Well, a pretty bad one, considering that Cotinis isn't even in the junebeetle group Melolonthinae and doesn't behave like one either, but still understandable.

But "Japanese beetle" for Popillia japonica (the fact remains that there are PLENTY OF COLEOPTERAN SPECIES IN JAPAN)? Um... I think that name speaks for itself.

Exactly why common names are overused and overrated, and usually cause more confusion than it is worth. -_-

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13 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Exactly why common names are overused and overrated, and usually cause more confusion than it is worth. -_-

Yep. I do find them useful as informal species-describers, though. For example, I could call Calathus ruficollis the "red-fronted carabid ground-beetle" to provide a quick and easy description of its appearance and taxonomic affinities, especially to those who are unfamiliar with the classification system.

 

Notice that I said "carabid ground-beetle" instead of "ground-beetle", because many ground-dwelling coleopterans do not belong to the "Ground Beetle" family Carabidae.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But let's not forget that Periplaneta americana originated in Africa ;)

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On 2/4/2018 at 9:34 PM, Test Account said:

Yep. I do find them useful as informal species-describers, though. For example, I could call Calathus ruficollis the "red-fronted carabid ground-beetle" to provide a quick and easy description of its appearance and taxonomic affinities, especially to those who are unfamiliar with the classification system.

Notice that I said "carabid ground-beetle" instead of "ground-beetle", because many ground-dwelling coleopterans do not belong to the "Ground Beetle" family Carabidae.

But let's not forget that Periplaneta americana originated in Africa ;)

That's true, though even that name could cause confusion, as I'm sure there are plenty other "red-fronted" Carabids out there...

Yes, the same problem exists with Periplaneta australasia too, pretty sure that species also originated in Africa! :lol:

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You should flip through a moth field guide sometimes... lots of crazy names.  "The Thinker", the "Grateful Midget", the "Unarmed Wainscot" etc. and a number of interesting Catacola underwing names including the Charming, Betrothed, Married, Sordid, Mourning, Sad, Tearful, Inconsolable, and Dejected Underwings. (I hope whoever named all those underwings was ok...). "Heart and dart" is actually a pretty good name, it refers to the shape of a pattern on the moth's wings.

I think "ground beetle" is pretty well established as an unambiguous common name for carabids.

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4 hours ago, Salmonsaladsandwich said:

You should flip through a moth field guide sometimes... lots of crazy names.  "The Thinker", the "Grateful Midget", the "Unarmed Wainscot" etc. and a number of interesting Catacola underwing names including the Charming, Betrothed, Married, Sordid, Mourning, Sad, Tearful, Inconsolable, and Dejected Underwings. (I hope whoever named all those underwings was ok...). "Heart and dart" is actually a pretty good name, it refers to the shape of a pattern on the moth's wings.

I think "ground beetle" is pretty well established as an unambiguous common name for carabids.

I'm already aware of the vast quantity of, er, imaginative moth names. Now, I know Heart-and-dart does have two "hearts" and two "darts" on its wings, but seriously, those hearts are pretty lumpy. :D

And whoever decided to make "Ground Beetle" a standardized common name has probably forgotten the tenebrionids. Ugh

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53 minutes ago, Test Account said:

And whoever decided to make "Ground Beetle" a standardized common name has probably forgotten the tenebrionids. Ugh

You can't really expect common names to be perfect in the sense that they couldn't apply to something else. That's what scientific names are for. Diving beetles aren't the only beetles that dive, carrion beetles aren't the only beetles that eat carrion, and longhorn beetles aren't the only beetles to have long antennae nor are they universally long- horned, but IMO those are perfectly good common names for dytiscids, silphids and cerambycids respectively. 

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