… self-fulfilling prophecies …

… self-fulfilling prophecies …

When I wrote my article: “The genus Hoya in Polynesia” about a year ago, I typed in the following words.:

“All of these ‘taxa’ are from Samoa alone, and there are probably more to come.”

~~~

Well, here they are, all described by the same author, all from Samoa, and all described in 2017 (and the year 2017 is now only 42 days old!!!)

Hoya artwhistlerii Kloppenb.
Hoya corollamarginata Kloppenb.
Hoya corollamarginata ssp. magiagiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya corollamarginata ssp. upoluensis Kloppenb.
Hoya fetuana ssp. sigaeleensis Kloppenb.
Hoya fetuana ssp. tutuilensis Kloppenb.
Hoya lanataiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya luatekensis Kloppenb.
Hoya olosegaensis Kloppenb.
Hoya patameaensis Kloppenb.
Hoya samoaalbiflora Kloppenb.
Hoya samoensis ssp. savai’iensis Kloppenb.
Hoya uafatoensis Kloppenb.
Hoya whistleri ssp. faleuluensis Kloppenb.

~~~

Please keep in mind: The abovementioned ‘species’ do not exist, they are willfully misidentified Hoya australis R. Br. ex J. Traill, Hoya betchei (Schltr.) W. A. Whistler, Hoya chlorantha Rech. and so on! The ‘author’ obviously describes the same three or four species again and again, and ends up with a mess of names … I’m still sure that there is much more to come.

Why scientific names?

Why scientific names?

Today I was looking for a certain kind of grass, when I found the website of a nursery, where I could read the following lines.:

„There was a time in the not too distant past, when life was simple and this gorgeous ornamental grass was simply known as Pheasant’s Tail Grass or, for those that had been to college, Stipa arundinacea.
Now, life is that bit more complicated and its new name is Anemanthele lessoniana, which is apparently pronounced ăn-e-man-thee-le less-o-nee-ana – and is so much harder to remember not to mention a bit of a mouthful! “

~~~

Well, I don’t know where to start … first, no one needs to go to a college to remember a simple name, may it be Anemanthele lessoniana or Stipa arundinacea or whatsoever.

By the way, it doesn’t actually matter how You pronounce these scientific names …, and, the correct way to use this names actually is Anemanthele lessoniana (Steud.) Veldkamp and Stipa arundinacea (Hook. f.) Benth. – and they always refer to the same, one and only species!

The first is the valid name, the other one is a synonym not used for the plant any longer, yet still valid, but just as a synonym.

That’s all.

Wait, there’s one thing more: scientific names, genus and species names are always written in italics, that’s just an international rule (it doesn’t harm You to do so).

~~~

Common names or vernacular names in contrast can be used for whatever You wish, the grass discussed here is commonly known as Gossamer Grass, New Zealand Wind Grass, Pheasant’s Tail Grass, and probably as many other grassy things more.

Gossamer Grass fits very well to this species, as it fits to many other grass species as well, in numerous cases even more then to this species; New Zealand Wind Grass is even more bad, it doesn’t say anything aside from that we talk about a grass that probably comes from New Zealand and that is sweeping in the wind (do You know how many grass species are found in New Zealand – and all of them are sweeping in the wind); Pheasant’s Tail Grass, um, the grass discussed here doesn’t look like the tail of a pheasant at all, so …?

I think it is much easier to keep a single scientific name in mind than the numerous vernacular ones that a single species can have.

Now You see what scientific names are for: they can always be assigned to a certain species (subspecies, variety or forma, if You wish), leaving no doubt which species someone is talking about.

Don’t be afraid, use them!   🙂

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After all, my words are not meant to criticize the nursery from whom the abovementioned citation comes!

Justin Gerlach: Partula – Icons of Evolution

Justin Gerlach: Partula – Icons of Evolution

The genus Partula, extremely rich in Polynesian species, will soon get it’s newest monograph (I’m not sure, but it may be the first monograph at all).

The book, written by Justin Gerlach and named “Partula – Icons of Evolution”, is nearly ready to be published, but the project can still be supported.:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/507116283/partula-icons-of-evolution

 

Ground Weta (Hemiandrus) – undescribed species

Ground Weta (Hemiandrus) – undescribed species

This New Zealand genus contains about 35 species, of which only some 15 appear to have been described so far, leaving about 20 species still undescribed. [1][3]

The ground weta are thought to be widespread and common, some are even found in urban gardens, however, some species of course are very restricted and are indeed threatened.

Some species are known to exhibit maternal care of eggs and offspring – the mothers take care for their eggs and their young. [2]

~~~

Unfortunately I do not know which of the following tag-named forms were properly described in the meantime.:

Hemiandrus sp. “alius”
Hemiandrus sp. “disparalis”
Hemiandrus sp. “dodsons”
Hemiandrus sp. “elegans”
Hemiandrus sp. “Esperance Valley”
Hemiandrus sp. “evansae”
Hemiandrus sp. “furoviarius”
Hemiandrus sp. “hapuku”
Hemiandrus sp. “horomaka”
Hemiandrus sp. “Hunter Mountains”
Hemiandrus sp. “kapiti”
Hemiandrus sp. “madisylvestris”
Hemiandrus sp. “mtgeorge”
Hemiandrus sp. “nokomai”
Hemiandrus sp. “okiwi”
Hemiandrus sp. “onokis”
Hemiandrus sp. “otautau”
Hemiandrus sp. “otekauri”
Hemiandrus sp. “porters”
Hemiandrus sp. “promontorius”
Hemiandrus sp. “pureora 1”
Hemiandrus sp. “pureora 2”
Hemiandrus sp. “redhills”
Hemiandrus sp. “richmond”
Hemiandrus sp. “saxatilis”
Hemiandrus sp. “staveley”
Hemiandrus sp. “timaru”
Hemiandrus sp. “turgidulus”
Hemiandrus sp. “waimakariri”
Hemiandrus sp. “vicinus”

*********************

References:

[1] P. M. Johns: Distribution and conservation status of ground weta, Hemiandrus species (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae). Science for Conservation 180. 2001
[2] Tony Jewell: Two new species of Hemiandrus (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae) from Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. Zootaxa 1542: 49-57. 2007
[3] B. L. Taylor Smith; M. Morgan-Richards & S. A. Trewick: New Zealand ground wētā (Anostostomatidae: Hemiandrus): descriptions of two species with notes on their biology. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 40(4): 314-329. 2013

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hemiandrus.sp.rudolph89

Hemiandrus sp.

Photo: Rudolph89

(This image is in the public domain.)

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edited: 06.03.2016

The genus Hoya in Polynesia

The genus Hoya in Polynesia

The genus Hoya is distributed in many parts of Asia to Australia and Oceania, it contains a largely unknown number of species, unknown because there are tremendous numbers of taxa that were and unfortunately still are described – most of them by a certain single person.

Here is a small account of them.:

Hoya faoensis Kloppenb. & Siar
Hoya fetuana Kloppenb.
Hoya fitoensis Kloppenb.
Hoya lanoto’oensis Kloppenb.
Hoya mata-ole-afiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya nuuuliensis Kloppenb. & Siar
Hoya ofuensis Kloppenb.
Hoya savaiiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya savaiiensis ssp. falealupoensis Kloppenb.
Hoya seanwhistleriana Kloppenb.
Hoya tiatuilaensis Kloppenb.
Hoya x tuafanua Whistler & Kloppenb.
Hoya whistleri Kloppenb.

All of these ‘taxa’ are from Samoa alone, and there are probably more to come.

~~~

But what is the problem?

Well, some of these plants were obviously described from cultivated material, and often even the slightest differences were used to describe the material as a new species.

So, actually no one really knows at this time how many true species exist, and this doesn’t only aply to Samoa.

But this ain’t the only problem!

The abovementioned ‘autor’ described Hoya x tuafanua in 2002 (Fraterna 15(3): 13. 2002), and then used exactly the same plant material in 2015 to describe another species, Hoya seanwhistleriana (Hoya New 4(2): 10-16. 2015).

What the heck is going on here?

~~~

Finally, just for ‘fun’, a full list of all Hoya taxa described from within Polynesia, as far as I know them.:

Hoya angustifolia J. Traill
Hoya artwhistlerii Kloppenb.
Hoya attenuata Christoph.
Hoya australis R. Br. ex Traill
Hoya australis ssp. tenuipes (K. D. Hill) P. I. Forst. & Liddle
Hoya betchei (Schltr.) Whistler
Hoya bicarinata A. Gray
Hoya billardieri Decne.
Hoya chlorantha Rech.
Hoya chlorantha var. tutuilensis (Chr.) Whistler
Hoya corollamarginata Kloppenb.
Hoya corollamarginata ssp. magiagiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya corollamarginata ssp. upoluensis Kloppenb.
Hoya crassior Hochr.
Hoya dalrympliana F. Muell.
Hoya desvoeuxensis T. Green & Kloppenb.
Hoya diptera Seem.
Hoya faoensis Kloppenb. & Siar
Hoya fetuana Kloppenb.
Hoya fetuana ssp. sigaeleensis Kloppenb.
Hoya fetuana ssp. tutuilensis Kloppenb.
Hoya filiformis Rech.
Hoya fitoensis Kloppenb.
Hoya intermedia A. C. Sm.
Hoya lanataiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya lanoto’oensis Kloppenb.
Hoya luatekensis Kloppenb.
Hoya mata-ole-afiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya matavanuensis Kloppenb.
Hoya megalantha Turrill
Hoya nuuuliensis Kloppenb. & Siar
Hoya obscurinervia Merr.
Hoya ofuensis Kloppenb.
Hoya oligotricha ssp. tenuipes K. D. Hill
Hoya olosegaensis Kloppenb.
Hoya patameaensis Kloppenb.
Hoya pilosa Seem.
Hoya pottsii J. Traill
Hoya pottsii var. angustifolia (J. Traill) Tsiang & P. T. Li
Hoya pubescens Reinecke
Hoya pycnophylla Rech.
Hoya samoaalbiflora Kloppenb.
Hoya samoensis Seem.
Hoya samoensis ssp. savai’iensis Kloppenb.
Hoya savaiiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya savaiiensis ssp. falealupoensis Kloppenb.
Hoya seanwhistleriana Kloppenb.
Hoya smithii Kloppenb.
Hoya tamaleaaea Kloppenb.
Hoya tauensis Kloppenb.
Hoya tiatuilaensis Kloppenb.
Hoya trinervis J. Traill
Hoya x tuafanua Whistler & Kloppenb.
Hoya uafatoensis Kloppenb.
Hoya upoluensis Reinecke
Hoya upoluensis var. minor Rech.
Hoya vitiensis Turrill
Hoya whistleri Kloppenb.
Hoya whistleri ssp. faleuluensis Kloppenb.

*********************

References:

[1] Dale Kloppenburg: Samoan Hoya Species I-III. 2014
[2] Dale Kloppenburg: Hoya New 5(1): 1-64. 2015

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edited: 12.02.2017

A sea full of trash

A sea full of trash

An endless ocean colored in thousand shades of blue and turquoise, endless beaches made of pure, soft white sand, lush green palms softly waving in a pleasant breeze – this is what most of us have in their minds when they hear the term of >South Sea< or >South Sea Island<.

The truth, however, is already completely different! (see photo)

~~~

The ‘sand’ beaches worldwide today contain almost as much plastic particles as they contain grains of sand, but a lot more plastic is floating on the surface of the ocean and beneath. These floating plastic particles are a great peril for those sea bird species that search for their food on the ocean’s surface, taking everything they find floating in the water.

For example, of the 1.5 million Laysan Albatrosses that inhabit the Midway atoll, nearly all are found to have plastic in their digestive system.

~~~

The photograph below shows a (typical) beach on the uninhabited island of Laysan in the northwestern part of the Hawaiian island chain.

*********************

Reference:

[1] Chris Jordan: Midway: Message from the Gyre. In: The New York Review of Books, 11. November 2009

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laysan-abfall-fks

Photo: Kim Starr & Forest Starr; by courtesy of Kim Starr & Forest Starr

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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edited: 21.09.2016