why still creating common names?

Andrea82

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After browsing the classifieds (only to compare prices to the ones in europe, and see which species are available in the US that are rare in Europe), I came across a T.seladonia. Now I know that some older species in the hobby have their common names from way back to the beginning, so I understand why people refer to them by their common names.
But T.seladonia is relatively new. Why do breeders still come up with common names, when it is clear
that nobody likes them, and they only create confusion?
 

Bugmom

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I'd imagine it's because
A) an animal doesn't get a scientific name until one is approved, so you have to call it something in the meantime, and
B) breeders don't just sell to hobbyists, some breeders also sell to pet stores and people who just want one or two pets; people who really don't care what the scientific name is, because they aren't going to use it.

Even in the hobby, there's a lot of usage of common names. GBB, for example... I mean, most of us know that GBB is C. cyaneopubescens, but you kind of look like a pedantic jerk if you insist on using the scientific name at all times, especially in casual conversation, and if a person doesn't know what a GBB is, a quick search here or on Google will clear that right up. Plus, common names generally = less typing and easier to say. "Cobalt blue" is a lot short to type and easier to say than "H. lividum." "Pink Zebra Beauty" is way less of a mouthful than "Eupalaestrus Campestratus."

The only time common names are truly an issue is when someone wants information on a "such and such from some country" and that could be one of ten different tarantulas, so we can't advise them. But those are also unlikely to be people who are keeping 100 tarantulas, and unlikely to have bought the T from somewhere that knew the scientific designation in the first place.

Common names aren't going to go away. If someone wants to call T. seladonia the "Tree-Dwelling Rainbow Fluffball of Doom," whatever.
 

Vanessa

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Scientific names are daunting. Most people take one look at them and say 'forget it'. Many people look at completely regular, everyday, words and say 'forget it' - let alone trying to tackle a scientific name that originates in a language other than English. And people are lazy too. They don't want to make the effort to learn to pronounce the scientific names - they don't make an effort to learn any new words for the most part. And old timers in the hobby don't encourage them to learn - I've seen new people made fun of more than encouraged when they try to learn the scientific names.
Personally, I prefer the scientific names and find them a lot easier to use than the common name. Common names are often very similar for completely different species and some species have several common names. That is far more convoluted than learning one scientific name and being done with it.
The only time I use the common name, over the scientific one, is for OBT and GBB and I only do that when writing. I normally don't use those if I am speaking with someone.
Plus, pet stores want to convince people to buy a spider, that they already have, by naming it differently. That isn't going to go away either.
I don't even know the common name for half my collection.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Because they are ignorants as F-Word, that's the reason. Another reason is for the "cool" effect for lure new people with their, moved out of curiosity, $$$.

Ignorance & "a Boom! name effect" mixed together. 90% of the people are, like we say here in Italy, 'sempliciotti' meaning mediocre as F-Word. They love "cool" names, they love and care about aesthetic effect and such :p
 

Moonohol

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I scoffed when I first read the common name people are referring to T. seladonia as. It's just nonsense fluff, a marketing tactic to make it sound more fantastic and extravagant to justify the exorbitant price tag. I love using scientific names and I rarely use common names unless I'm talking to my friends who know nothing about Ts. IMO, the only use for common names now is as a marketing tool to sell tarantulas to people that care more about that kind of thing than they do about giving the T itself adequate/suitable care.
 

chanda

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I like common names. Yes, they do leave room for confusion, so I will usually use the scientific names for my Ts with other collectors (except for some of the common "shortcuts" like GBB and OBT). Clarity is important, so if I'm talking to someone who knows enough about Ts for the scientific name to be meaningful, that is what I will use.

On the other hand, it's just as important to know your audience. I work with children. I teach classes for elementary/middle school students and do classroom presentations. For kids - especially the younger ones - scientific names are hard to pronounce, spell, or remember and can be intimidating or off-putting. Common names, on the other hand, are designed to be appealing. They make it easier for the kids to relate to the spiders and other creatures and make them seem more likable (as do individual "pet" names). I don't forsake the scientific name in favor of the common name, but I offer both. Cage labels have both the common name and the scientific name - as well as the country of origin, gender (if known), and stage of development (nymph, larva, juvenile, sub-adult, etc.). When I talk about the spiders or other bugs to the older children, I try to explain the value of scientific names, how they impart more information about the creature than does the common name (such as the genus identifying related species), and how they eliminate the confusion that can be created with multiple common names for the same animal - or multiple animals that share the same common name - but I still use both names interchangably with the kids.
 

Andrea82

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Thank you all for the replies. I thought using scientific names was becoming more important than common names, but I guess I was wrong.

When educating kids, I can kind of understand the reason for the common names, but since children are such amazing sponges for new things, I thought it would be best to actually use the scientific names, or at least the abbreviated ones like B.smithi.

Well, I guess common names will never be out of fashion then...
 

Bugmom

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I like common names. Yes, they do leave room for confusion, so I will usually use the scientific names for my Ts with other collectors (except for some of the common "shortcuts" like GBB and OBT). Clarity is important, so if I'm talking to someone who knows enough about Ts for the scientific name to be meaningful, that is what I will use.

On the other hand, it's just as important to know your audience. I work with children. I teach classes for elementary/middle school students and do classroom presentations. For kids - especially the younger ones - scientific names are hard to pronounce, spell, or remember and can be intimidating or off-putting. Common names, on the other hand, are designed to be appealing. They make it easier for the kids to relate to the spiders and other creatures and make them seem more likable (as do individual "pet" names). I don't forsake the scientific name in favor of the common name, but I offer both. Cage labels have both the common name and the scientific name - as well as the country of origin, gender (if known), and stage of development (nymph, larva, juvenile, sub-adult, etc.). When I talk about the spiders or other bugs to the older children, I try to explain the value of scientific names, how they impart more information about the creature than does the common name (such as the genus identifying related species), and how they eliminate the confusion that can be created with multiple common names for the same animal - or multiple animals that share the same common name - but I still use both names interchangably with the kids.
I think people on the internet forget that not everyone who keeps, or wants to keep, or is learning about tarantulas, is an adult. It would be ridiculous for me to tell a group of young children "This is my mated adult female Acanthoscurria geniculata." That's going to go over their head. But they can understand and remember, "This is my Brazilian whiteknee tarantula, she might get a little bit bigger, and she might have babies for me soon."

If the goal is to get someone interested, you have to do that at their level. Someone who has never kept tarantulas, and/or young kids, are likely to react much better to a common name than the scientific one as a starting point.

Not a single one of us was born knowing the scientific names of anything, and very few of us started out in this hobby conversing like biologists writing a scientific paper. It's pedantic and elitist to shun common names entirely.
 

gypsy cola

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marketing

P. ultramanis does not sound as a cool as a Brazilian rainbow bird eater.

If I am showing off my collection to someone who doesn't understand binomial nomenclature, I am using common names.

Common names has it uses, it helps get people over their phobias. My girl got addicted into T's by introducing her to common names first. As she got deeper into the hobby she saw the necessity for binomial.

Common names are the gateway drugs into the hobby.
 

Vanessa

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While I don't disagree that using the common name when teaching children is easier and might keep their interest more piqued - I wouldn't sell them short.
By the time I was 10 years old - I knew a hundred dinosaur names and which dinosaur they belonged to. With the exception of T-Rex, none of them had a 'common' name.
That still holds true for children today as well.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Childrens should been educated and not deceived. When I was a brat I was like a sponge, and still today, at 37, the only thing I'm 100% aware of, aside for Death, is: "so di non sapere."

Common names are garbage and a damage for serious arachnid scholars. The fact that certain common names were a guess right, like 'OBT' or 'GBB', for instance, means nothing. Cultural crap as well, as I've said tricks for $$$ and excuse for lazy people, lazy even to the point of open a book.
 
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Andrea82

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I think people on the internet forget that not everyone who keeps, or wants to keep, or is learning about tarantulas, is an adult. It would be ridiculous for me to tell a group of young children "This is my mated adult female Acanthoscurria geniculata." That's going to go over their head. But they can understand and remember, "This is my Brazilian whiteknee tarantula, she might get a little bit bigger, and she might have babies for me soon."

If the goal is to get someone interested, you have to do that at their level. Someone who has never kept tarantulas, and/or young kids, are likely to react much better to a common name than the scientific one as a starting point.

Not a single one of us was born knowing the scientific names of anything, and very few of us started out in this hobby conversing like biologists writing a scientific paper. It's pedantic and elitist to shun common names entirely.
Pedantic and elitist? Wow. That's a bit harsh. Why is it elitist to prefer the true name of an animal?
I guess the whole European continental hobby community is pedantic and elitist then...
 

mistertim

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Childrens should been educated and not deceived. When I was a brat I was like a sponge, and still today, at 37, the only thing I'm 100% aware of, aside for Death, is: "so di non sapere."

Common names are garbage and a damage for serious arachnid scholars. The fact that certain common names were a guess right, like 'OBT' or 'GBB', for instance, means nothing. Cultural crap as well, as I've said tricks for $$$ and excuse for lazy people, lazy even to the point of open a book.
Yes but you still need to at least get them interested in learning more before they become open to learning scientific names...that's how kids (actually, people in general) are about learning new things. Once you're interested you're far more open to absorbing info. You can't just force scientific name memorization on kids because it will almost certainly immediately turn them off. You're being a bit hard line on this.
 

chanda

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While I don't disagree that using the common name when teaching children is easier and might keep their interest more piqued - I wouldn't sell them short.
By the time I was 10 years old - I knew a hundred dinosaur names and which dinosaur they belonged to. With the exception of T-Rex, none of them had a 'common' name.
That still holds true for children today as well.
No, I'm not selling the kids short. If they are sufficiently interested, they can and will absorb the scientific names - along with a great many other bits of information - which is why I make that information available to them alongside the common name. But you have to get them interested, first.

Especially for younger kids (I work with kids as young as 3), the descriptive nature of common names makes them more appropriate. A preschooler will be excited to go home and tell his parents about the red-knee tarantula that he saw but he won't remember the name Brachypelma smithi. Also, if a child is a bit arachnophobic - as many children are - using a common, descriptive name makes the spider seem a lot more approachable and less scary because it identifies it with words the child already knows and understands. The scientific name, on the other hand, has nothing in it that the child can relate to. It's just arbitrary words and syllables that have no meaning to the child.

Besides, the word "Tarantula" is, itself, a common name for members of the family Theraphosidae. Should we abolish use of that as well, in favor of the scientific term? :rolleyes:
 

cold blood

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I'd imagine most common names are derived from the peoples living amongst them. Breeders just take these names, I don't think breeders are assigning these common names.

I totally agree with what @VanessaS was saying...adults are lazy and often completely unwilling to learn things like this....while kids just learn what kids learn, and I can relate, as a child I knew so many dinosaur names it was ridiculous, same for my 6 year old nephew. If kids can handle them with ease, I just laugh at all the adults that avoid them, dislike them and refuse to acknowledge them:rofl:....if only they were as motivated as the average 6 year old.:bored:
 

cold blood

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No, I'm not selling the kids short. If they are sufficiently interested, they can and will absorb the scientific names - along with a great many other bits of information - which is why I make that information available to them alongside the common name. But you have to get them interested, first.

Especially for younger kids (I work with kids as young as 3), the descriptive nature of common names makes them more appropriate. A preschooler will be excited to go home and tell his parents about the red-knee tarantula that he saw but he won't remember the name Brachypelma smithi. Also, if a child is a bit arachnophobic - as many children are - using a common, descriptive name makes the spider seem a lot more approachable and less scary because it identifies it with words the child already knows and understands. The scientific name, on the other hand, has nothing in it that the child can relate to. It's just arbitrary words and syllables that have no meaning to the child.

Besides, the word "Tarantula" is, itself, a common name for members of the family Theraphosidae. Should we abolish use of that as well, in favor of the scientific term? :rolleyes:
As a kid, I was proud to "correct" adults that didn't know or couldn't/wouldn't pronounce these names. The earlier kids learn, the more they want to know the proper names, at least this is my experience with kids.
 

Tim Benzedrine

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I've mentioned it before, but depending on the audience, it can sound a bit pretentious to rattle off scientific names. Even if you are not TRYING to be pretentious. Sometimes I even feel self-conscious about it myself, and worry that the person I am speaking to thinks I am trying to show off. In fact, I'm sure that my sister believes that, she's almost said as much.
 

Vanessa

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No, I'm not selling the kids short.
I was not directing my statement towards you specifically or I would have quoted your post - I was just making a comment in general.
And while you might not sell them short, a lot of people most certainly do and they shouldn't. Many children have the capacity to learn and will do so if given the opportunity.
Adults... not so much.
 

mistertim

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I've mentioned it before, but depending on the audience, it can sound a bit pretentious to rattle off scientific names. Even if you are not TRYING to be pretentious. Sometimes I even feel self-conscious about it myself, and worry that the person I am speaking to thinks I am trying to show off. In fact, I'm sure that my sister believes that, she's almost said as much.
When I show my tarantulas to people who don't know about them I give them the scientific name as well as the common name and then tell them a bit about the species. Seems to work pretty well.
 
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