[Taxacom] Quacks like a duck

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Wed Feb 17 11:36:12 CST 2010

Recently, the new journal Phytotaxa is being advertised as a good place
to quickly publish new names. The instructions to authors are
disconcerting, however. I sent the following to members of another
listserver, Bryonet, who I occasionally also annoy, and figure it may
also be of interest to Taxacomers:



Interesting that using received phylogenetic classification is now a
first principle at Phytotaxon. The instructions to authors say:


"Family classification and placement of genera should follow APG-III
(2009) for flowering plants and Smith et al. (2006) for ferns."


I can see the value of a standard suprageneric classification if this
were a journal focused on description of species, but it is not. The
above requirement is simply wrong. 


Remember that this kind of thinking comes from those who also say: "If
it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it is a
reptile." And "if it is white, lives on arctic ice, and eats seals, then
it is a brown bear." And "If it has spines, no leaves to speak of, grows
in deserts, and has big multipetaled flowers, it is some kind of


Richard H. Zander 
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander at mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:


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