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Re: [aroid-l] Typhoniums linked

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Typhoniums linked
  • From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter@worldonline.nl
  • Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2003 09:48:15 +0100
  • Importance: Normal

Oh Good Ran(d/t) of Canada,

Your well-prosed reply concerning the names of the beasts has struck me
deep. I resign as taxonomist. I surrender myself to the Law of the Labels,
The Scepsis of the Sellers and the Protests of the Public. I am doomed,
trodden, trampled, trashed and whatnot. Until I will resurface from the soil
where I will look for Times Eternal to Elysean Fields of tubers of
Sauromatum, once thought to be Typhonium, I greet you.

O.k., so much for my alter ego. Now it's my turn.

Of course you are right (you are?). Name changes also can cause stirs,
especially in plant groups that are economically important. Of course, names
for a minor, insignificant group of people who like such afwul creatures as
aroids and are joined in an insignificant clubette called the IAS, are not
worth considering by taxonomists at large.....

Wait, this is not the beginning of a proper answer.......this is too soft.

No, serious, name changes are good and bad. Good is that they do indeed
(SHOULD indeed) reflect progression in taxonomic thought. These days
taxonomists are by and large of the opinion that names should reflect
evolutionary relationships as that is the great adagium most biologists work
with, despite the fact that there are areas in the world (even in the
western one) prohibiting (the children of) their inhabitants to think that
evolution is happening.

As it turns out, Peter and I thought it more than logical on morphological
grounds that the species of Sauromatum are in fact nested WITHIN Typhonium.
Hell, Sauromatum brevipes WAS originally introduced as Typhonium brevipes,
people!!!! In such a hypothesized situation, keeping the three species out
of this realm by naming them Sauromatum, is misleading. We ran a few
analyses of the morphological data in relation to those of species of nearby
genera and behold, the Sauromatum species always turned out to become nested
IN Typhonium. In such a case, naming them Typhonium, clearly denotes that
evolutionary relation. So in our eyes the name ought to be Typhonium, given
that we are correct in our hypothesis of relationships between the species
examined. Such hypotheses, based on morphology alone, are nowadays
challenged by data from DNA. In the case of Typhonium, Susanne Renner's
analyses seem to indicate that Typhonium may NOT be an evolutionary group to
begin with and so Peter and mine analysis of Sauromatum + Typhonium may have
been started out on the wrong foot. The wrong Typhonium, to be precise. So,
in the end the new analyses may show that Typhonium + Sauromatum = Typhonium
sensu Hetterscheid & Boyce is the wrong equation and other genera should be
included or parts of genera should be excluded.

I hope I have confused you now to the point that you won't hesitate to put
TWO labels in your venosum-colony.

Cheerio,
Wilbert Hetterscheid (member of Homo sapiens for as long as it is allowed by
taxonomists)







> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van: aroid-l-owner@lists.ncsu.edu
> [mailto:aroid-l-owner@lists.ncsu.edu]Namens Rand Nicholson
> Verzonden: vrijdag 7 februari 2003 17:22
> Aan: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
> Onderwerp: Re: [aroid-l] Typhoniums linked
>
>
> Your  Lordliness:
>
>   I  subscribe to a few other lists, notably an orchid and
> carnivorous
> plants list, where the naming of names is sometimes discussed by
> knowledgeable people with hammers and battleaxes a-flailing, though
> usually more civilized. Although sometimes fun from an onlooker's
> point of view  (I keep very still and try not to make eye contact),
> one can appreciate the underlying seriousness of what is being
> attempted. Many times it has been brought home, the importance of
> getting it right amongst a sometimes bewildering (to me) confusion of
> criteria, historical inaccuracies, various schools of thought (ie:
> Lumpers and Splitters) and , of course, the personal take of some
> involved regarding the rules and guidelines of taxonomy itself. So, I
> do not mock the science or the attempt to classify things as they
> should be in order to allow me to say for certainty that my A.
> fargesii _is_ indeed A. fargesii and not A. franchetianum (which, by
> the way, it turned out to be - I think).
>
> Typhonium venosum (see, I said it! Hardly hurt at all.) came to me as
> a "Voodoo Lily" with a burbling exhortation of how it would "flower
> hugely and gorgeously on your windowsill from the naked bulb without
> being potted into soil!"  Who amongst us could resist that? And it
> did what they said.
>
> After I regained consciousness I found out everything I could, which
> was _very_ difficult at that time, (my email was still a decade away
> in the early eighties) about the amazing beast, my first bulbous
> Aroid, and decided that Sauromatum guttatum was a keeper (much to the
> disgust of my friends and family who had witnessed the event).
>
> You see, I had a lot invested in the name as well as the plant which
> still lives on today, happily flaunting its inflorescence each spring
> like clockwork _out_ of doors in fresh moving air in a nice roomy pot
> with some of its offspring. Now the place is crawling with various
> Aroids and I could not be happier. I bend a knee before your phalloid
> wisdom m'Lord and If you find that you must rename any of them I will
> dutifully make the appropriate labels and use them freely, as I have
> a large supply of markers and labels are cheap.  And I actually do
> want to know what I have, am growing, and be able to find good
> information on them. Names are, indeed, important.
>
> (I should also get points for restraint in complying with your
> expectations regarding any  answer to your question. Significant
> restraint, when one considers possible responses, which, of course, I
> haven't.)
>
> You will forgive me though, I trust, if I dance The Aroid Dance of
> Joy _if_ an old friend returns? And have a bit of fun with this along
> the way?
>
>
> Best Regards,
>
>
> Rantless Rand
> z5b (I wish) Maritime Canada
>
>
>
>
>
> >Ranting Rand,
> >
> >You are absolutely right. Us taxonomists make life
> complicated at times. On
> >the other hand, plant people are inherently conservative in this, not
> >appreciating the scientific dynamics of taxonomy, which after all IS
> >science. What would happen if scientific developement
> stopped? (I don't
> >expect a smart-ass answer to this!!!!!!! o.k.!!!!!)
> >
> >Congrats with your Sauromatum labels! Don't throw 'em away
> just yet!!!!!!!!
> >
> >Cheerio,
> >
> >Lord P.
>





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