SURVEY: ENGLISH NAMES OF INDIAN BUTTERFLIES
English (“common”) names were coined for all Indian butterfly species in the early part of the 20th century. Since then, many taxonomic, political and social changes have taken place that have made some English names vague and others taxonomically untenable or politically incorrect and therefore socially unacceptable. As part of my work on Indian butterflies, I am compiling a subspecies-level catalogue of Indian butterflies, in which I wish to revise problematic English names and coin English names for subspecies. This survey will help me do this by taking different views about English names into consideration. All entries will be anonymous so you can be as honest and frank as you like, but please be polite and civil.
How long have you been watching or studying butterflies?
What is your age group?
What is your level of expertise?
What is your area of expertise or work? (select all that apply)
What is your country or area of residence/work? (select all that apply)
Do you use English (common) names of butterflies frequently, i.e., as or more often than scientific names?
Do you care if English names change as part of a systematic revision to align names with taxonomic changes that have taken place in the past few decades, and with modern social norms?
English names usually follow certain patterns. They may reflect distinctive features or overall coloration of the species, its status, the distributional range, type locality, taxonomists who described the species or persons in whose honor the species were named, or peculiarity of the species/group, among other things. Do you prefer English names in the order:
Do you support the idea of following some logical rules in retaining or changing English names? For example, older or much more widespread English names should be given preference over newer or little-known English names if both the names are technically correct or socially acceptable.
Most Indian butterfly subspecies currently do not have English names. Do you like the idea of coining English names for subspecies?
Do you know that subspecies have been given English names in case of many birds, mammals and butterflies in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and that these names are in common use?
Scientific names can be very long or short, and scientists are usually comfortable with them irrespective of the length of the names. It’s a matter of practice and coming to terms with the needs for longer names, e.g., when trinomial names (Genus species subspecies) are used. Are you comfortable with the idea of having slightly longer names for subspecies if they serve a purpose and are logical?
Please feel free to submit your detailed feedback if you like. If you wish to do so, please include your thoughts, name and email below. I may contact you to discuss your opinions and suggestions further if they are useful in my work.
Thank you for participating in this survey, I appreciate your input.
Cite this page along with its URL as:Kunte, K. 2012. Survey: English names of Indian butterflies. In Kunte, K., S. Kalesh and U. Kodandaramaiah (eds.). Butterflies of India. v. 1.05. Indian Foundation for Butterflies.
No. of species pages: 753 No. of lifecycle pages: 230No. of identification keys: 4No. of images: 15,000