Scientific names

To: Nikolas Haass <>
Subject: Scientific names
From: Dave Torr <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 16:14:23 +1100
Very true. And occasionally a mistake was made in the original gender
assignment and the name gets changed even if the genus has not changed....

On 5 March 2014 16:12, Nikolas Haass <> wrote:

> ... and obviously splitting or lumping, results in species name changes as
> well. In the first case, a subspecies name gets elevated to a species name
> and vice versa in the latter case. (However, this usually also results in a
> change of the English name).
> Nikolas
> ----------------
> Nikolas Haass
> Brisbane, QLD
>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* Dave Torr <>
> *To:* Martin Cake <>
> *Cc:* "" <>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, March 5, 2014 3:05 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [Birding-Aus] Scientific names
> My understanding Martin (and I am not an expert at all) is that the
> specific name is usually construed as an adjective which modifies the genus
> part of the name. The laws of Latin gender apply and if a bird is moved
> from a "masculine" gender to a "feminine" one (a strange concept that we do
> not have in English) then I believe that the specific part may be modified
> accordingly? So it is not true that it never changes - but usually the
> change is a minor one on the ending of the word?
> But I agree it does not happen very often!
> On 5 March 2014 15:22, Martin Cake <> wrote:
> > Mike I take your point but I'm not sure I agree with your premise that
> > vernacular names are more 'useful'.
> >
> > I realise this is a wellworn topic but for the sake of answering Steve's
> > request for clarification (and defending the taxonomists!):
> >
> > Look again at Steve's question and you will note the specific name
> > (species epithet) of the bird in question has not changed - basalis.
> > Nor will it ever change for the type population (which I think is our
> > Australian bird?) as there are strict rules of precedence, unless
> disputed
> > due to obscure early synonyms. So the specific name is in fact very very
> > stable - arguably more so than the vernacular.
> >
> >
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