[Taxacom] New species descriptions based on only 1 specimen

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu
Tue Sep 30 15:59:02 CDT 2008

On Tue, September 30, 2008 9:41 pm, Richard Pyle wrote:
> I agree with Mike, except I'd say don't get bogged down in the illusion
> of a testable hypothesis

I'd second that; my answer to the original question is that it would
depend what kind of variation you see in related species that are
better-sampled, and whether the differences in the singletons are
distinct enough to warrant separating them.  But in the end it pretty
much comes down to your subjective judgement on it.

IMO unless you're going around and creating massive chaos (and there are
people who do), in general it's better to describe something that might
be synonymized later than to leave it sitting in a forgotten drawer for
the next 50 years, to be described after it's extinct.

Karl Magnacca
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Zoology
Trinity College, Dublin 2

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