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Great to see the Peacocks about so early; have seen a few Red Admirals but not to get a lens on.
Just to note, they are now classed as Aglais io
Chris Brooks - www.dragonfly-images.co.uk
My Flickr site - www.flickr.com/photos/ceb1298
yes welcome sign of spring, ok thanks chris will change it..why would they have changed it? Aglais io not showing up on lists?
DNA I think, it has shown up as related to Aglais. Butterfly Conservation have recognised the change. It's up to you if you want to change it, some will agree but most still go for the usual older name.
The genus name indicates the evolutionary relationships of a species. In effect, all of the members of a genus are considered to share a common 'recent' ancestor species. This is of course is deduced from various lines of evidence - fossils, anatomy, morphology, physiology and increasingly DNA analysis. As new evidence and new analyses are performed this can mean that the consensus view of taxonomists can change and species that were once placed in separate genera may be placed in the same genus - as in the case of the Peacock butterfly being reclassified in the genus Aglais with the Small Tortoiseshell - and in other cases the opposite may occur as for example the Blue Tit being moved out of the genus Parus into the genus Cyanistes. This does mean that sometimes different authorities may take a different view and the same species may be referred to by two or more different genus names until one or other view comes to predominate.
The species name - the second part of the binomial (io in the case of the Peacock) is normally fixed once it has been published in the taxonomic literature (although occasionally that too can change under specific circumstances but not as a result of changing opinions about the species relationship to other species).
many thanks for the information jonathan, why would it take time for different authorities to agree, once a new piece of the jigsaw so to speak is found, why would there be discord ?
I suppose there are two answers to that. First, it is important to recognise that in assigning a species to this genus or that a taxonomist is interpreting the evidence that is available and there is always the possibility that two experts will interpret things differently if, for example they put weight on different parts of that evidence. If the evidence is very strong it is likely that the the experts will agree quite quickly but if it is more equivocal there will be room for differences of opinion in how to interpret it.
The second reason is that once some taxonomic expert determines that a species is better placed in this genus or that it takes a bit of time for the rest of the world to catch up. Professional taxonomists working in the same field will become aware quite quickly of the proposed revision but it will take longer for the change to filter down through to things like general field guides iSPot and such like.
i see, many thanks
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