Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Insects

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WikiProject Insects (Rated Project-class)
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Scientific v. common names[edit]

Searching for the "pea leafminer" I came across Chromatomyia horticola, for which we have a stub article. However this common name is also given to Liriomyza huidobrensis, an invasive species for which I am currently writing an article. This latter species is also known by the name "serpentine leafminer", and guess what, we already have an article Serpentine leaf miner referring to a different species again, Liriomyza brassicae.

Would it not be better to have a policy that such species, which are often known by different common names in different parts of the world, are always listed under their scientific names? Cwmhiraeth (talk) 18:10, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

I thought the idea was that we only used common names as article titles when they were unique. Otherwise we use the scientific name, mentioning the common name(s) in passing. The common names can of course be listed on disambiguation pages. Chiswick Chap (talk) 18:42, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
While Aphis fabae was undergoing its GA review, it was forcibly changed to "Black bean aphid", a move which I did not approve of. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 19:22, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Sorry to hear that. But it seems to be quite a widely-used name, without conflicts? Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:27, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Well, I call these "blackfly" when I find them on my beans, and this is a widely used name. But Black fly has a different meaning in Wikipedia. All these insects would be better, in my view, to be listed under the scientific name with redirects from vernacular names. Cwmhiraeth

(talk) 09:30, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

The Wikipedia cannon for black fly is the one I am familiar with, though the members of that family are locally called "sandflies" not "blackflies". I think this is a case where Wikipedia is a bit US-centric (?) M. A. Broussard (talk) 04:04, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
When the names are ambiguous, you are certainly correct. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:36, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
The situations above are why we should be using the taxon names universally, with only a few exceptions. We are here to educate, part of that being using the most correct term for the articles, not the most commonly used lay name, especially given that less then 2% of all taxa will even have a lay name, making them very odd exceptions as the encyclopedia grows.--Kevmin § 00:21, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes and no. Education is not our primary role, which is to inform. That requires us to be both trustworthy and approachable. No doubt we fall over on both of those far too often, but making ourselves unapproachably graeco-latinate for the cases which you rightly acknowledge as "only a few exceptions" won't help. We always provide taxon names in the lead, in taxoboxes and if need be in redirects, and that's sufficient. Chiswick Chap (talk) 05:52, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Sigh. My ideal would be for use of scientific names exclusively, however we have rules (Naming conventions (fauna)) that cover all animals. It is fine for birds and mammals but gets annoying if only one member of a genus has a common name (so is at that name) and all other members are at scientific names. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:43, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
We aren't making ourselves "unapproachably graeco-latinate" for the exact reason that you just stated, the vernacular name is right there in the lead, and in a notable portion of cases taxa have multiple vernacular names anyways, making it even more logical to use the taxon name. Logic shows that the pages should be at the taxon name, not on an arbitrary vernacular.--Kevmin § 19:59, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
I think that common vernacular terms should be at the common name (eg. "tree", "insect", or "fish"). However, a number of insect species--especially today--have "common names" which are promoted by single groups or organizations, such as conservancy agencies, which are not actually the "common name" because too few people know about the organism for a common name to gain traction. One such problem, to pick one from my area of expertise is Osmia lignaria, which I have heard called the following: blue bee, blue mason bee, blue orchard bee, blue orchard mason bee, mason bee, and orchard bee. There are a large number of species in Osmia and the related genus Hoplitis which could have any of these names if they were given a common name. It's worse for bumblebees because the recent conservation craze has led to people giving the bees a number of inventive names, which are not used at all by the public. I believe that more than 95% of insect species articles should be at the scientific name as per the MOS (and many are). However, well-known insects such as the gypsy moth or silkworm could probably live happily at the common name (though neither do at this time). Personally, and I am biased as an entomologist, I would prefer most insects be at the scientific name; but I know from my many educational outreach interactions with the public that the Latin binomial clouds rather than elucidates matters for the majority of non-scientists I've encountered. In cases where there really are a number of taxa at the same common name (especially for pest insects), a disambig page and articles at the scientific name is the way to go, but in cases where there is a clear common name, the page should probably live there. I think it's up to us as individuals to use our best judgement when creating and moving pages. M. A. Broussard (talk) 04:04, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Carabus linnei and Carabus linnaei - same insect?[edit]

Hello, are Carabus linnei and Carabus linnaei the same? Both have the same binomial authority, Panzer, one for 1812, one for 1813. The only link that works in either of these pages has a different year (1810)... I noticed this while trying to de-orphan some of these beetle stubs, but I don't know anything about beetles, or have any references to refer to. If someone could point me in the direction of a reliable reference, I would be grateful. Thanks. DferDaisy (talk) 03:51, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

@DferDaisy: The website you want is, but unfortunately it requires a subscription to view pages. The source of your confusion is that the species Carabus linnei was described by Panzer in 1810, but the subspecies C. linnei linnei was described in 1812 (also by Panzer). Carabus linnei folgariacus was described by Born in 1813, which is probably where the third date came from. As for Carabus linnaei, I am not certain, but I believe it is a misspelling as there is only one mention of that spelling prior to 1999 in the Google Scholar literature search, and it occasionally occurs alongside the linnei spelling in more modern documents where there is clearly only one species being represented, presumably as a typographical error. My best bet is that the appropriate reference is "Carabus linnei Panzer, 1810". Thanks for looking after the orphaned stubs! M. A. Broussard (talk) 05:14, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
@M. A. Broussard: Thanks for looking into this. I'll take another look at the two pages and see if I figure out what to do next. DferDaisy (talk) 02:40, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Broussard, shouldn't that be Panzer 1810, not 1910, then? In any case, the date given for linnaei (1813) does not correspond with the category (1832), or rather the reverse situation. Tisquesusa (talk) 03:41, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
@Tisquesusa: Good catch; I should proofread better when talking about typographical errors! I have amended my post above to indicate the correct dates (all in the 1800's). M. A. Broussard (talk) 23:07, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Insects of New Zealand edit-a-thon, 3 September 2017[edit]

Banner created by Emma Scheltema for the Insects of New Zealand edit-a-thon, Auckland, 3 September 2017 Members of this wikiproject might be interested in participating, remotely or in person, in an upcoming edit-a-thon. With the support of the University of Auckland, I'll be helping run an all-day workshop centred on the 52 species depicted on the Insects of New Zealand playing cards. It'll be 10:00 am – 4:00 pm NZST on the Tāmaki campus, free to attend, with lunch and refreshments supplied. We have 7 signed up so far, mostly postgraduate students new to Wikipedia, so we could use experienced editors. If anybody else wants to join in please go to the #NZInsectCards project page for more details, including the list of species, and to register. Remote participants from all around the world are welcome! Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 03:46, 19 August 2017 (UTC)


Hi, sorry if this is the wrong place to ask a question, i couldn't find a noticeboard. I've created a disambiguation page for the name 'Ravet' as i was working on some Indian village articles of that name. I came across references to a beetle called the 'Ravet' in a few sources such as here,here and here. The sources say it is a maylfy/cock-chaffer type beetle from Guadaloupe, the latter source suggested it is a type of Cancrelas/Blatta Indica. Does anybody know where i can find the article on this specific beetle? I was hoping to create a Ravet (insect) redirect to said article and list it on the Ravet disambiguation page. Thanks Cesdeva (talk) 16:25, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

From what I can find, this seems to be a French term for "cockroach" (or whatever the local etymology considered such) that was used in the French Antilles. As such I don't think it would merit a redirect, not being a common English term. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 17:18, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

Arthropoda or Euarthropoda[edit]

At Arthropod, the phylum has been changed from Arthropoda to Euarthropoda. Is there a consensus about that? Should insect articles' taxoboxes be changed? I was just surprised to see it and wondered.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  01:35, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

I don't think there was any discussion that lead to a consensus for that. It's apparently based on this paper which says "...leads to the abandonment of the original meaning of Arthropoda sensu von Siebold (1848), as its strict diagnosis and taxonomic scope have become distorted in the recent literature" (von Siebold's sense included tardigrades). I don't see that any taxonomic databases are recognizing Euarthropoda as a phylum (and from my quick skim of the Ortega Hernandez paper, I'm not seeing that Euarthropoda is being treated as a ranked taxon there). I don't think at this point that manual taxoboxes should be changed en masse to show Euarthropoda as a phylum (articles using automatic taxoboxes have already been changed in en masse, but could easily be changed back with a single edit to a template). Plantdrew (talk) 01:05, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
*Sigh*, another reclassification du jour. Let's not throw thousands of articles, and over a hundred years of conventional wisdom, into unfamiliar chaos simply because one paper suggests so. --Animalparty! (talk) 02:28, 19 September 2017 (UTC)