[Taxacom] Use of geographic range data as diagnostic characters

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sun Feb 17 18:52:18 CST 2013


As always, geographic ranges can be use as diagnostic characters, but only with due care. If two flightless beetles are indistinguishable externally (or totally indistinguishable as females, say), but one lives on the mainland, and one on a well separated offshore island, then for routine ID, you go by where they were collected from. A key to species might use this character as the only character. However, if it is necessary to be 100% sure, then one must dissect males, or admit that one cannot be 100% sure about females. This is rarely a problem. Of course, one's reliance on these characters may change in response to changing circumstances, like invasion, extinction, or climate change, but it might also change is response to any number of other factors, like DNA analysis revealing cryptic species, etc.
 
Stephen


________________________________
From: Kim van der Linde <kim at kimvdlinde.com>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
Sent: Monday, 18 February 2013 1:36 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Use of geographic range data as diagnostic characters

IMHO, there are not, because they can change due to invasion, 
extinction, climate change.

Kim

On 2/17/2013 4:24 PM, Timothy Jones wrote:
> Political and geographic location, are properties of taxa.  When attempting
> to identify a taxon; do you look for a book/pub concerning distribution
> ranges from half-way around the world, or from your locality?
>
> Best,
> Tim
>
>
> On Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 1:03 PM, Thomas Pape <TPape at snm.ku.dk> wrote:
>
>> The ICodeZN does not deal with geographical range data as these are not
>> properties of taxa.
>>
>> /Thomas Pape - Natural History Museum of Denmark
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Derek Sikes
>> Sent: 17. februar 2013 19:45
>> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Entomology Discussion List
>> Subject: [Taxacom] Use of geographic range data as diagnostic characters
>>
>> Zoologists,
>>
>> Does anyone know of a publication that addresses the issue of using
>> geographic range data in a species diagnosis? And /or in an
>> identification key?
>>
>>
>> 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...
>>
>> Thanks!
>>
>> 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
>> http://users.iab.uaf.edu/~derek_sikes/sikes_lab.htm
>>
>> phone: 907-474-6278
>> FAX: 907-474-5469
>>
>> University of Alaska Museum  -
>> http://www.uaf.edu/museum/collections/ento/
>> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>
>> Interested in Alaskan Entomology? Join the Alaska Entomological Society
>> and / or sign up for the email listserv "Alaska Entomological Network"
>> at http://www.akentsoc.org/contact.php
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