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

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu
Thu Sep 15 15:31:46 CDT 2011

On Thu, September 15, 2011 9:50 am, James Whitfield wrote:
> So the seven years gives license for some non-involved person to
> jump in and facetiously described things?  Give me a frigging
> break!!!

How long of a waiting period do you think is reasonable then?  I
know people who've had the only specimens of undescribed species
secreted away in their personal collections for 40 years, because
they "haven't gotten around to describing them".  Eventually, they
often get lost.  And I think that's less egregious than shouting
about how great these new species are, and then failing to give them

> Not to mention that the people working with Janzen have described
> species at a rate far exceeding that of Brower. Maybe not the
> thousdand that have been turned up, but hundreds so far.

No doubt, but how many of the putative species from the barcoding
papers have been described?  From a search of the taxa in the most
significant and oldest papers (giving them some lead time), zero. 
And those papers didn't merely suggest that they *might* be species,
or that ecological specialization could represent incipient
speciation; they forcefully asserted that they *are* species, worthy
of recognition *now*.  And that's how it's repeated when they're
cited elsewhere.  If that interferes with Burns' and others' work to
put actual science into the taxonomy, he needs to take it up with
Hebert and Janzen for how they write their papers.


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