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Why did you coin such an unpalatable name for this species?

Dear Dr. Liu,

Taxonomists often tend to forget that the function of scientific names is scientific communication: they are just labels allowing to locate unambiguously the taxa to which they refer, not to describe or qualify them. As such, they will appear in subsequent scientific works. For this purpose, they should be short and euphenious, and long unpalatable names, derived from several languages, should be avoided as much as possible. See in this respect :

http://tapro.sljol.info/articles/abstract/10.4038/tapro.v2i1.2703/

In the present case, a specific name like "maoping" or "badong" would have best served the purpose of naming this species.

Best wishes,

Alain Dubois

Professor, PeerJ Academic Editor

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2 Answers
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Accepted answer

Because that is the exact name of the locality, I also not want to use same specific name as other genus. So long is not bad.

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Accepted answer

No, the exact name of the locality would have been "maopingchang", which could have been placed in apposition to the generic name (Article 11.9.1.2 of the Code). And even this would be too long in my opinion if this species had to be cited many times in the literature.

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This species name is a mouthful, but otherwise it's fine. I've named plenty of species of Hawaiian Drosophila with longish Hawaiian-inspired names that also reflect a locality. My take on this discussion is that:

1. Mixing of different languages (e.g., Greek and Hawaiian or Latin and Chinese) is going to be more and more common as species are found in more far flung places and as native speakers from those places describe taxa and place them into existing genera.

2. Terms like "unpalatable" are opinions. What one person finds unpalatable might be fine for another.

3. I don't think the code has any specific restrictions about lengths of species names. Or even whether a names needs to be "serious" or "scientific (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/fly-species-popeyen3895246.html)

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