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Difference between Form and Variation



 
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PostPosted: 23.02.2018, 19:06    Post subject: Difference between Form and Variation Reply with quote

Good evening,

in many malacological books and journals, including some important ones like e.g. the new book by Felix Lorenz, forma names and varietal names are often used. But I found no description of the difference of forms and variations. I think that there could be a difference not only in botany but also in zoology, as in the new "cowry bible" is written "forms and variations".

In botany the variety is ranked taxonomically below the subspecies but above the forma. Is it in zoology used in the same or in a different way?

Any (not too complex) explanation about that would be great.

Thanks in advance.
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felix
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PostPosted: 27.02.2018, 18:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, this is a good question. Of course, both names are below the subspecies level, and I used them rather arbitrarily. To me, a form is a more stable, consistent thing opposed to a variation which tends to be a clinal thing. But as I said, the usage of these terms has not actually been standardized in my book, and if I remember well, Hubert and I listed both names for the same thing: a group of shells/parts of a population below the subspecies level but characterizable as different from the norm.
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PostPosted: 27.02.2018, 20:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for your reply, Felix.

Taxonomy must be an unbelievably complex field which will for ever be difficult to understand, especially for non-biologists like me. But I think it is important also for collectors who don't know much about the methods in biology, but are working with scientific names, to have respect for the effort behind e.g. a new (serious) species description. Even if the initially new name becomes a synonym.

However, I'm always fascinated by taxonomy in biology.
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