After two decades of intensive research on the fauna inhabiting the ecological niche Communati Indianae Scientificum (colloquially known as the Indian Scientific Community), we have been able to identify, characterize and classify a number of species inhabiting this habitat. With distinctive aspects such as high rates of emigration, immigration and mutation (sometimes within a lifetime) and a variety of foraging techniques, they make a fascinating microcosm worthy of serious biological research. The present article is but a preliminary step towards a comprehensive study, being merely a taxonomy for the dominant species in the Linnaean tradition. We have identified twenty-seven major species:
1.Vicious Incumbentus: This species is one of the early occupants of this habitat and is noted for its ability to capture new uncharted territory for its foraging activity. Thanks to this, they are able to generate surplus even with rather limited foraging abilities. They have strong territorial instincts and guard their territory by means of a poisonous sting with which they attack any encroacher. The population of this species is maintained by mutation from other species. While they do reproduce by cloning, the offspring belong to the species Protegii Sidekickus discussed next.
2.Protegii Sidekickus: Being cloned from Vicious Incumbentus, these inherit many attributes of the latter except the enterprise. They tend to adapt a narrow range of foraging techniques which they apply repetitively in a narrow area. Because of low adaptability, they tend to die out rapidly in face of any abrupt changes in the environment. They multiply by cloning.
3.Nerdus Paperchurnus: This species is characterised by a very high facility with one or the other foraging technique and great diligence. Akin to the worker bee in their social role, they produce most of the community surplus. However, being suited only for narrow specialised tasks, they usually have a weak flank which makes them vulnerable to attack. Thus they either fall prey to other predatory species or build a symbiotic relationship with a member of another species, trading their surplus for protection and patronage.
4.Committimemberii Rulesenbylawquotus: The members of this species take charge of the more mundane chores of the community. Nevertheless, foraging being the most socially respected activity, they feel obliged to fake a nonexistent foraging prowess. Because of their willingness to undertake the less exciting tasks, the society has evolved the evolutionarily stable strategy of pretending that they are not pretending.
5.Bigmoni Projectovorus: This species specialises in acquiring and organising ancillary foraging equipment for others for which it gets a part of the surplus. Like Committimemberii Rulesenbylawquotus, they are given to faking a foraging ability which is not really there, but their pretence is tolerated by common consensus.
6.Whiningus Leanandhungryfacus: This species has low foraging ability. It generally congregates near sources of certain liquid and gaseous stimulants and makes shrill sounds. Their main activity is to build elaborate justifications for their own low foraging ability and to discuss and rank order the more successful foragers from other species. Their social utility is derived from their willingness to function as foot soldiers for other species during intra- and inter- species conflicts.
Salivatii Bootlickus: This species has a symbiotic relationship with Primmadonnae Fundsenhonourdisbursae and is allowed to live off the droppings of the latter for services rendered, such as picking fleas in the latter’s coat and crooning in unison whenever the latter makes a sound so as to amplify its effect.
7.Smoothtalkus Jetsetae: This species is characterised by a sonorous sound and bright plumage, and is highly mobile. Its role is analogous to that of a canary and it traverses different parts of the region entertaining other species. For this it is allowed to live off the community surplus.
8.Genealogicus Favorabilis: These are offspring of highly successful foragers in Communati Indianae Scientificum or from neighbouring habitats such as Communati Indianae Administrativii, Communati Indianae Politicum or Communati Indianae Commerciali. They are allowed to start their lives with an abundant supply of food from the community surplus and an artificially implanted plumage. After the supply runs out, they usually mutate into one of the other species, notably 4 and 7 above.
9.Beamingfaceus Peckatfringeus: This is a very benign species, very diligent but not very successful as a forager. Its primary task ends up being grooming of the young ones in the community.
10. Senilae Almosttherebutnotquiteus: Many successful foragers compete to match the foraging standards of other better endowed habitats and come close. When their foraging ability wanes with age, they mutate into Senilae Almosttherebutnotquiteus and spend their time spinning somewhat inflated tales of their near miss with glory. Because of their inspirational value to the young ones of the community, they are generally allowed to live handsomely off the community surplus.
11. Anecdotus Historicalii: This species serves as a chronicler of the community and makes a living by narrating real or imaginary tales of great foragers of the past (from fifteenth century to the previous decade) to the young ones. For this, they are allowed a part of the community surplus.
12.Sonofsoilii Virtuosi: This species remains in one location throughout and also refuses to use other than its traditional foraging techniques. With claims of additional spiritual superiority purely on the basis of its immobility and immutability, it claims larger than its share of the community surplus.
13.Bombasticus Posturomaticae: This is a parasitic species which lives rather well off the community surplus by successfully faking foraging prowess. In this it is aided by an artificially acquired plumage and a loud voice.
14.Reflectoglorius Lastyearsnobelprixus : This is another parasitic species which lives off claims of expertise in foraging techniques that have proved very successful elsewhere in recent past, and on those grounds, demanding (and usually getting) a larger than fair share of the community surplus.
15. Backgroundnoisus Coauthorshipgrabbae: This is yet another parasitic species which latches on to members of other species with better foraging skills and by sheer pretence of working along, manages to corner a part of the surplus for itself.
16. Nirvanae Seatwarmacus: This is the most parasitic species of all, which does nothing at all and is allowed to live off the community surplus simply because Communati Indianae Scientificum has not evolved the evolutionary strategy, prevalent in other similar societies, of killing off its useless members.
17. Trivialis Letterstoeditorii: This semi-parasitic species specialises in secondary and tertiary foraging activities, but by the sheer volume thereof and a not inconsiderable bombast to go with it, it manages to fake primary foraging prowess and corner a larger than fair share of the community surplus for itself.
18. Mezbanus Gracious: This species has the job of arranging visits of successful foragers from other better endowed societies and playing host to them. As a token payment for this, they are allowed a share of the community surplus.
19.Exchangeprogrammae Internationalis: This species is closely related to Mezbanus Gracious and specialises in exploiting mutual arrangements between Comm. Sci. Ind. and other, usually better endowed societies, to visit the latter and live off the community surplus there.
20. Primmadonnae Fundsenhonourdisbursae: This is the most powerful species in this society. Small in number and created by mutation of the more successful foragers of the other species (notably Bulldozus Upwardmobilii discussed below), they control the distribution of community surplus, because of which the other species are obliged to pay homage to them from time to time. This is also aided by the fact that they carry lethal poison in their stings. They are extremely wary of each other, but put up a united front, sharing their surplus with each other generously.
21.Bulldozus Upwardmobilii: This species has moderate foraging ability, but a strong voice, bright plumage and lots of energy which allows them to corner more that their share of the community surplus. The most successful members mutate into Primmadonnae Fundsenhonourdisbursae.
22.Salivatii Bootlickus: This species has a symbiotic relationship with Primmadonnae Fundsenhonourdisbursae and is allowed to live off the droppings of the latter for services rendered, such as picking fleas in the latter’s coat and crooning in unison whenever the latter makes a sound so as to amplify its effect.
Nirvanae Seatwarmacus: This is the most parasitic species of all, which does nothing at all and is allowed to live off the community surplus simply because Communati Indianae Scientificum has not evolved the evolutionary strategy, prevalent in other similar societies, of killing off its useless members.
23.Cantankerus Unionleaderii: This species is sometimes mistaken for Whiningus Leanandhungryfacus because of the similar sounds that it makes, but is far more dangerous because of its lethal poison. By willing to act as masterminds in intra- and inter- species conflicts of other species, they gain much social clout, often ending in a symbiotic relationship with a member of Primmadonnae Fundsenhonourdisbursae.
24.Exgenius Frustatis: This species shows very high foraging prowess for a short time, which then dries out. At this point they mutate into one of 4 – 7, 9 – 11, or 13 – 23 above. In addition to these, there are three species who emigrate to other better endowed habitat when they are young and return much later:
25.Firangis Coolcatus: This is the most benign of these species and is characterised by a bright plumage and distinctive sounds acquired during their travels. They have the advantage of starting with a good initial endowment of food and better foraging techniques acquired elsewhere, and tend to live off these rather well till these run out. At this point, they usually mutate into 4, 7 or 10, an occasional one making it to Primmadonnae Fundsenhonourdisbursae.
26.Pardesis Chiponshoulderus: These have been reasonably good foragers elsewhere but cannot adapt back to this habitat, resulting in lowered foraging ability. This makes them develop poisonous stings with which they attack all and sundry. Finally, they either emigrate again or mutate into Whiningus Leanandhungryfacus.
27.Nonresidentus Megalomaniacus : The members of this species typically have spent a long time in better endowed habitats before return and have been successful foragers there, acquiring an impressive plumage in the process. They expect this to fetch them a position of power on return. This does happen to some, but never to their satisfaction. They then develop lethally poisonous stings with which they attack all detractors. The more successful ones mutate into Primmadonnae Fundsenhonourdisbursae. The relatively more benign ones mutate into Senilae Almosttherebutnotquiteus.
We are currently in the process of cataloging the various subspecies and a detailed study of their characteristics, including their mating habits. This will be presented in a forthcoming monograph.