[Taxacom] describing new species

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 17:39:06 CST 2012

What's rare or out of the way? Recently I was altered to a new moth that
has a 6 inch or so wing span, is bright green and a unique wing pattern
(unique in all Lepidoptera I suspect), but apparently never before
collected. In this sense it is 'rare' but in another sense it might be as
common as dirt where it occurs. Just got to get time to describe it now.

A colleague of mine has recently come across several new species in Brazil
of similar size. The localities are not out of the way and the lack of
previous description may just be because no one was interested in them

John Grehan

On Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 5:11 PM, Peter Rauch <peterr at berkeley.edu> wrote:

> Is it true that by and large new species (of insects) tend to be rare in
> nature and/or in out of the way places ?
> (I didn't think that this was close to being true ?)
> How would one know whether the specimen in hand was one of the 20 known
> species detailed in the Journal key, and not either a new species which is
> indistinguishable by the given key, and/or is "the other sex" of a known
> species (but not completely known by life form, geographic distribution,
> etc) ?
> The job of insect discovery, detailing, and understanding hasn't even
> begun, were we to ask about the state of our ecological knowledge, our
> biodiversity knowledge, whether we need screamingly larger amounts of
> resources to make those discoveries, and to have them then become useful
> information for managing our Earth.
> This is a story not one iota different from what some of us stated in
> Taxacom twenty years ago.  So, as Chris pondered, who cares --then or now ?
> Peter
> At 13:45 12/12/18, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> >...
> >So we can also ask the question: is general taxonomy/diagnostics relevant
> any more? It is true that, by and large, new species tend to be rare in
> nature, and/or in out of the way places, and so we should perhaps be
> putting due focus on documenting the common species properly in areas where
> we live. There is perhaps an assumption that this has all been done, but of
> course it hasn't (maybe in the U.K., but certainly not here...)
> >
> >Stephen
> and
> >On Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 21:30:22 +0000
> > Michael Wilson <wilsomichael at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >...How many places in the world are you
> >able to identify 'common' species in many groups without special
> >expertise and knowledge of the literature? Would the Journal that
> >rejected Chris's paper publish a paper in which a key to say 20 known
> >species was given that made life easier for users- or is that not
> >considered science now?
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of
> these methods:
> (1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org
> (2) a Google search specified as:  site:
> mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

More information about the Taxacom mailing list