Monday, 26 February 2018

Vernacular Names for Springtails

As far as I am aware, there are no official, "common" (English "vernacular") names for springtails. There are official checklists of Latin names but springtails generally do not have common names. This is a chicken and egg situation. Springtails don't have vernacular names because most people ignore them, but without English names, the Latin binomials are very off-putting to members of the public. It's a vicious circle. A case in point are the marvellous, largely Victorian, common names of moths - Ghost Moth, Large Yellow Underwing, Orange Swift, etc - which have inspired generations of moth recorders.

We use Latin binomial names as international currency so that everyone worldwide knows exactly which species they are referring to. The practice of simply making English names up on the spot is to be deplored as it can make identification chaotic. There is a scientific method avoid confusion with vernacular names. "Official" bodies maintain "approved lists" of vernacular names which are based on but distinct from the checklists of Latin names. For example, the British Mycology Society maintains an an approved list of English names for fungi. For springtails, I guess the official body to create and maintain such a list would be the Royal Entomological Society (since there isn't a Royal Collembola Society - yet), but they've never done so as far as I'm aware.

Many groups of insects do have common names but they're the pretty ones that you might even hear David Attenborough talking about - bees, butterflies, dragonflies, etc. Springtails - who cares? Well I do. And yet I have no wish to sow confusion by simply making names up, but we need names that will stick in the public imagination. There is a logical method to generate such names - transliteration of the Latin binomials, at least where these are descriptive. So:

Allacma fusca - Dark Allacma

Campodea fragilis -

Cyphoderus albinus - White Ant's Nest Springtail

Deuterosminthurus pallipes -

Dicyrtoma fusca - Dark Dicyrtoma

Dicyrtomidae -

Dicyrtomina saundersi - Saunder's Globby

Entomobrya albocincta - White-banded Springtail

Entomobrya intermedia -

Entomobrya multifasciata -

Entomobrya nicoleti -

Entomobrya nivalis -

Entomobryidae -

Folsomia candida -

Heteromurus nitidus -

Hypogastrura viatica -

Hypogastruridae -

Isotoma viridis -

Isotomidae -

Isotomurus palustris -

Isotomurus plumosus -

Jordanathrix nr. superba -

Katiannidae -

Lepidocyrtus lignorum -

Lepidocyrtus violaceus -

Orchesella cincta - Banded Springtail

Orchesella villosa - Shaggy Springtail

Pogonognathellus flavescens -

Pogonognathellus longicornis - Longhorned Springtail

Sminthuridae -

Sminthurides aquaticus -

Sminthurides malmgreni -

Sminthurinus aureus -

Sminthurus viridis -

Tomoceridae -

Tomocerus minor -

Tomocerus vulgaris -

Vertagopus arboreus -

Vertagopus cinereus -

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