[Taxacom] very nice opinion article in today's Zootaxa

John Shuey jshuey at TNC.ORG
Tue Sep 13 19:29:02 CDT 2011


Indeed - to follow up on Jim's comment, the Brower paper was intended as a provocation.  Brower did not examine any material directly, or handle the actual types (his paper places them at U. Penn when they are really at the USNM) and pre-empted John Burns' long-term work to provide descriptive descriptions of these species based on a blend of adult and larval morphology, ecology and barcodes.  We are left with 10 stupid names that no-one can tell apart without barcodes....  Quite a disservice in my mind and an absolute slap in the face to Burns and Janzen's efforts to get real descriptions of these bugs out....  

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-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of James Whitfield
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 8:15 PM
To: Stephen Thorpe
Cc: taxacom
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] very nice opinion article in today's Zootaxa

Yes, interesting paper.  One should be aware, however, that the 10
putative species of Astraptes in fact were already separable using
morphological characters (primarily larval color patterns but also some
slight differences in the adults that were previously considered to be
intraspecific variants). So the species should not be "described" (named)
SOLELY on the basis of DNA barcodes - I think very few people actually
advocate that ... Janzen is very heavily involved in promoting descriptive
taxonomy in fact.

Jim

> on molecular vs. morphological taxonomy
>  
> open access: http://mapress.com/zootaxa/2011/f/zt03025p068.pdf
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-- 
James B. Whitfield
Department of Entomology
320 Morrill Hall
505 S. Goodwin Avenue
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801
http://www.life.illinois.edu/whitfield


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