[Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Thu May 16 03:21:47 CDT 2013

As an outsider I find this thread fascinating, in a train-wreck kind of way.

Regarding Hoser's names, a blanket rejection seems odd, given that some names seem to have gained acceptance. Broghammerus is used in the NCBI taxonomy http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Taxonomy/Browser/wwwtax.cgi?id=1334238, has molecular support (see http://dx.di.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2007.00904.x, PDF available here http://cteg.berkeley.edu/~rabosky/Publications_files/Rawlings_etal_BJLS_2008.pdf ), and two of the authors of Kaiser et al. (Wulf D. Schleip and Mark O’Shea) recently accepted the genus as valid in a checklist of pythons ( http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.66.683 ). What has changed that we should now reject Broghammerus?

I can't help feel that there's an element of "we did all this hard work to show that taxa 'x' is distinct, but some bugger has already given it a name, but he's a bit of a joker and (chortle) published it in his own journal (the horror), so let's give it a Proper Name".

I can't help but think part of the issue here is way too many people chasing too few taxa. I suspect arthropod or nematode taxonomists would kill for this degree of attention lavished on their beasties. I'm mean, pythons are cool and everything, but seriously, aren't there more pressing things to worry about?

Lastly, +1 for Doug's suggestion for a "taxonomic social medium". In a sense the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature resembles a, rather slow paced, version of this, with cases, comments on cases, replies, and a final resolution (sometimes taking years). If we recast those discussions as threads we would have something closely resembling the discussions we see on blog posts.



Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

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