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Re: Dracunculus species NOT to get

  • Subject: Re: Dracunculus species NOT to get
  • From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <edggon@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 14:48:16 -0500 (CDT)

Hi Randy,

   Considering that Dracunculus means exactly "Small Dragon" in Latin, it is 
not surprising to find an animal named like this. Just to make clear, the 
first principle of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature is that 
"Botanical nomenclature is independent of zoological and bacteriological 
nomenclature. The Code applies equally to names of taxonomic groups treated 
as plants whether or not these groups were originally so treated". So, there 
is no problem (at least by now) to have the same generic names for plants 
and animals. Some people are trying to unify all nomenclatural 
systems...That would be a big trouble!
   Anyhow, if we start to think that many aroids are able to warm themselves 
(i.e. they have thermogenic inflorescences), many species are commonly named 
as "cobra-lilies", "jararaca" (Brazilian name for Bothrops snakes and 
Asterostigma) and some species also stink like animals (not exactly living 
animals) we can come to the conclusion that... oh no... MAYBE AROIDS ARE 

                                   Best wishes,

>From: "Randall M. Story" <story@caltech.edu>
>I just noticed that there is a second genus of Dracunculus--not a plant, 
>instead a parasitic nematode (worm)!!  I had thought that generic names 
>unique, but after a bit of searching I found out this is indeed possible if
>the genera are from different kingdoms.  Does anyone know how common this
>situation is?  Are they going to fix this confusion at some point?  If so,
>which kingdom "wins"???
>The nematode Dracunculus looks like a pretty nasty beast.  If you have a
>VERY strong stomach do a Google search (image option) for Dracunculus.  If
>you ever run into anyone who thinks the plant is ugly or smells bad, point
>them that way.  It's clear that hours near the plant at its smelliest would
>be far, far better than an encounter with one of the animal sort of
>Does this mean there's a beautiful flower somewhere out there named (or
>waiting to be named) Dermatobia?
>I hope this doesn't ruin anyone's dinner (although it's probably a more
>effective weight loss strategy than eating glucomannan (a carbohydrate
>derived from Amorphophallus)).

Eduardo G. Goncalves
Laboratorio de Fitoquimica
Depto. de Botanica - IB
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Caixa Postal 11461 - CEP 05422-970
Sao Paulo - SP - BRAZIL
e-mail: edggon@hotmail.com
Phone: 55 11 3091-7532
FAX  : 55 11 3091-7547

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