[Taxacom] Why stability?

JF Mate aphodiinaemate at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 20:37:27 CDT 2015


"Hence there is no publication to cite for the identification."

Here is the kernel of inaccuracy. I have (and I suspect most people in
Taxacom do as well, either in cellulose or digital) a large collection
of things called books which are called upo as our external brain
hard-driveI. No just for Europe or North America, poor in species as
they may be, but for many areas in the world. There are many groups
without modern keys, I grant you that, but when keys are available,
citing them is a useful for those who will come after. In fact NZ has
a number of modern keys covering many Coleoptera groups (can´t comment
on what I don´t know). Are you tellng me you don´t use them?


Jason

On 30 April 2015 at 03:21, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> Sorry Jason, but I was not incorrect! As I said, many (perhaps most) species are not identifiable from the literature. Most insect IDs (at least in this country) are done by somebody directly comparing specimens to already identified specimens in collections. Typically, the only thing published is a useless original description from the 1800s or something. Hence there is no publication to cite for the identification. "Experience" enters the issue because the result of comparing specimens depends on the experience of the person doing the comparison, i.e. a newbee will typically make lots of mistakes.
>
> Stephen
>
> --------------------------------------------
> On Thu, 30/4/15, JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Why stability?
>  To: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>  Received: Thursday, 30 April, 2015, 1:15 PM
>
>  Sorry Stephen but this is
>  incorrect. Everybody´s "experience" is a
>  combination of actual experience (burning the
>  midnight oil comparing
>  own material against
>  identified specimens in a museum or advice from
>  colleagues or mentors that we have internalised
>  and made our own for
>  example) and
>  literature. By putting your name on the I.D. label and
>  the year you tell others more or less at what
>  stage of your experience
>  you where at when
>  you attached the label. The "sec" is to indicate
>  on
>  which authors you rely on (let´s face
>  it, nobody is an expert in every
>  group). For
>  example, in Europe if you work on scarabs you rely on
>  Baraud and Balthasar most of the time. In 50
>  years we may have
>  different ones but it
>  would be helpful to know which one you owned or
>  used most often or a that time. As a practical
>  example think of
>  Aphodius fimetarius. Since
>  2001 I write "sensu Wilson 2001" to make it
>  clear that the concept I am using acknowledges
>  the specific
>  distinctiveness of pedellus.
>
>  As to citing the authority, I
>  see it as part of the binomial. It makes
>  communication more accurate.
>
>  Jason
>
>  On 30 April 2015 at 01:15, Stephen Thorpe
>  <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
>  wrote:
>  > What Mary said is, IMHO,
>  somewhat mixed up and confused! One should cite the authors
>  of the original combination primarily for nomenclatural (not
>  taxonomic reasons). Botany confuses the issue by making
>  combinations a nomenclatural matter. Zoology treats them
>  (almost entirely) as taxonomic. The "reference used for
>  the identification" is another matter altogether. Most
>  IDs published in ecological studies are done by people
>  ("experts"), who, like myself, identify taxa based
>  more on experience/memory with relevant collections and
>  familiarity with the local fauna, rather than by way of a
>  specific publication. Many species can only be identified by
>  a historical chain of IDs, hopefully involving comparision
>  to the type at some stage along the way. They cannot be
>  identified from the literature.
>  >
>  > Stephen
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  --------------------------------------------
>  > On Thu, 30/4/15, Mary Barkworth <Mary.Barkworth at usu.edu>
>  wrote:
>  >
>  >  Subject:
>  Re: [Taxacom] Why stability?
>  >  To:
>  "JF Mate" <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com>,
>  "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>  >  Received: Thursday, 30 April, 2015,
>  10:51 AM
>  >
>  >  IMO. It
>  is not the lack
>  >  of a catchy name that
>  has prevented the practice of citing
>  >
>  the reference used for identification in giving a
>  scientific
>  >  name but the insistence by
>  taxonomists that one should cite
>  >  the
>  original author(s) of the combination and that this
>  >  provides accuracy of interpretation. It
>  was not until the
>  >  Vienna Botanical
>  Congress of 2005 (or thereabouts) that the
>  >  wording the botanical code read "In
>  publications,
>  >  particularly those
>  dealing with taxonomy and nomenclature,
>  >  it **may** be desirable, even when no
>  bibliographic
>  >  reference to the
>  protologue is made, to cite the author(s)
>  >  of the name concerned ...". Before
>  that it read as if
>  >  one always had to
>  cite the authors - and all journal and
>  >  book editors wanted the works they
>  published seen to be good
>  >  science so
>  they required citation of the original authors
>  >  and people that became faculty said it
>  was necessary too.
>  >
>  >  So we have to change a culture. That
>  is
>  >  always difficult.  I have been
>  told I do not understand
>  >  nomenclature
>  for  arguing that one should cite the
>  >  reference used to determine the name (a
>  flora or some such).
>  >  The objections
>  that I have heard are that someone is simply
>  >  using the name they were told by someone
>  else or that they
>  >  know the plant so
>  well they do not know whether it has ever
>  >  had another concept, or that they are
>  using the concept they
>  >  have
>  developed.
>  >  One reason I like the
>  >  Symbiota data entry form is that it
>  provides for citing the
>  >  reference
>  used (although perhaps it should be visible by
>  >  default?) but taxonomists have spent
>  decades convincing
>  >  people that, to be
>  good science, the original authors of
>  >
>  scientific names should be cited. We should not be
>  surprised
>  >  if it takes a similar
>  length of time to change the practice.
>  >  Do those of you that are journal editors
>  ask for information
>  >  as to the
>  reference used for an identification or for the
>  >  original authors of the combination.
>  >  Mary
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
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