The genus Drosophila as currently defined is paraphyletic and to resolve
this issue, sooner or later, the genus need to be split. Unfortunately,
if the normal rules regarding naming of genera in this case is followed,
Drosophila melanogaster would be renamed to Sophophora melanogaster as
it is positioned within the subgenus Sophophora.
In order to avoid wide-scale confusion and instability with regard to
Drosophila melanogaster, a proposal (Case 3407) to conserve the name
Drosophila melanogaster is currently under consideration with the
International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
(http://www.iczn.org/). If approved, Drosophila melanogaster will become
the type species for the genus Drosophila (currently Drosophila
funebris). If this is not approved, Drosophila melanogaster will become
Sophophora melanogaster as soon as the genus is split.
For those interested in the case, or would like to find additional
information, please visit
http://www.kimvdlinde.com/professional/DrosophilaSplit.html were all
relevant information is collected, included a reprint of the case in
question (copied with explicit permission of the ICZN).
The procedure at the ICZN is as follows:
1. A application (case) is made to the Commission with a specific
2. Interested people can send a comment to the commission regarding the
case, for example to express their opposition to the case.
3. The commission votes on the case and publishes an opinion.
The case was published last December and the first comments have been
published in the March issue (one in favour, two opposing), and more
comments will follow in the next issues. I have no idea how long
comments are accepted, but interested parties are invited to express
their position regarding the case
Kim van der Linde