This greatly confuses me, particularly with an interest in wasps and the amount of re-writing of the taxonomy that seems to occur; are there any specific consistent rules as to what is a defining morphological, biological, physiological or behavioural characteristic? Or the priority of them below family level?
For instance, humans are all homo sapien, even though there is massive variability in appearance and physiology, but with insects the slight variance in a spot’s shape or length of a ‘tooth’ derives a new species/genus.
Why also does it only take one specimen to allow a new species definition, particularly when it could so easily be found to be either just sexual dimorphism, an anomalous mutation, a juvenile or just inherent variability within a species?
I’d love to dive into this and understand as much as possible as I continue down the rabbit hole of parasitoid wasps, as I see the phrase ‘catch-all group’ a lot as potential sorting pile, while wondering if there is always actually a need to be more specific just because a group is broad. Or that it points to problems higher in the taxonomy creating conflicts.
I’m sure this is a much debated topic, I’m curious about how and why things are how they are :)