una at DOLIOLUM.BIOLOGY.YALE.EDU
Tue May 20 20:37:29 CDT 1997
"Stuart G. Poss" <sgposs at whale.st.usm.edu> wrote:
> Irrespective of when or how in a sampling protocol the specimens are
> identified, a critical issue in subsequent reference to the specimens
> is the accuracy of the identification.
In order to identify a specimen as belonging to a formal species, that
species must have been described. Morpho-typing is an essential part
of taxonomy; once the taxonomy has been done, there is little left to
do but identify additional specimens and keep checklists.
> If the "morphotypes" are correctly labeled and vouchered, they can at
> some point be made useful to the scientific community
If there is no adequate voucher specimen, there can be no morpho-type.
> by correctly
> referencing the appropriate species name, ...
What if there is no appropriate species name? Don't some estimates of
global biodiversity indicate that only a small fraction of all species
have been described? And what of the many inadequate, utterly useless
descriptions that are part of the formal taxonomic record? I'd rather
use a morphotype than muddy the taxonomy even further by assigning new
specimens to bad species.
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