[Taxacom] Use of geographic range data as diagnostic characters

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Mon Feb 18 00:01:49 CST 2013

Stephen Thorpe wrote:

>Hold on, the original question in this thread was:
>>>  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?<<
>Diagnoses and keys are what I am talking about ... I'm not sure that 
>there is a clear distinction between circumscription and practical 

If you re-read the full question, Derek also asked:

>>  Does the ICZN forbid or recommend against this?

THAT is what Thomas and I were replying to. "A diagnostic feature" 
(which geography may certainly be) is not necessarily synonymous with 
"a Code-compliant descriptor", and - in my opinion - the Code does 
effectively forbid it, in the sense that geography *alone* cannot be 
used to define a taxon.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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