[Taxacom] Use of geographic range data as diagnostic characters

Dick Jensen rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Sun Feb 17 16:39:45 CST 2013

I made use of such data in the keys the "Flora of North America" (Quercus section Lobatae).  Some species that have very limited ranges can be easily distinguished despite their morphological similarity.  The geographic info was not the primary part of a couplet, but an adjunct to be used in pinning things down.  


Dick J

----- Original Message -----
From: Derek Sikes <dssikes at alaska.edu>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>, Entomology Discussion List <ENTOMO-L at listserv.uoguelph.ca>
Sent: Sun, 17 Feb 2013 13:45:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject: [Taxacom] Use of geographic range data as diagnostic characters


Does anyone know of a publication that addresses the issue of using
geographic range data in a species diagnosis? And /or in an identification

Does the ICZN forbid or recommend against this?

I expect someone has discussed the issue of range data being somewhat like
phenotype (inherited from one's parents - both a habitat preference and a
geographic location).

We all know species turn out well outside their known ranges all the time
so it's not a very reliable data source but I'm looking for a good
published treatment of the issues...


Derek Sikes


Derek S. Sikes, Curator of Insects
Associate Professor of Entomology
University of Alaska Museum
907 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, AK   99775-6960

dssikes at alaska.edu

phone: 907-474-6278
FAX: 907-474-5469

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