[Taxacom] complete list of all species

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Fri Feb 15 15:51:41 CST 2008

Paul van Rijckevorsel wrote:

"...nothing stops a taxonomist from describing reproductively isolated
groups as taxa, even if they are poorly distinguishable to most users,
who lack the sufficient apparatus to make the distinction. This too is,
or can be, science. It will not necessarily be universally accepted as
good science, but maybe it will be."

IMO it's good science if the diagnostics are sound. A problem I see in
contemporary taxonomy is that some molecular folk do the diagnostics,
establish the existence of nameable cryptic species, publish the fact
("We have shown that Aus bus is really a complex of closely related,
cryptic species"), then move on.

If you were cynical, you could define a cryptic species as one that a
molecular taxonomist wants someone else to describe.
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
and School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
Contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
(03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195

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Biodiversity salvage blog

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