[Taxacom] Nature needs names: 60 new dragonflies from Africa

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Dec 11 16:36:41 CST 2015

Another example, just published, of a less hyped but bigger contribution, is 

Liebherr, J.K. 2015: The Mecyclothorax beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Moriomorphini) of Haleakala-, Maui: Keystone of a hyperdiverse Hawaiian radiation. ZooKeys, 544: 1-407. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.544.6074

In this case, the new names are ZooBank registered, but, unfortunately, it looks like there was a glitch: 



On Sat, 12/12/15, Roderic Page <Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Nature needs names: 60 new dragonflies from Africa
 To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Cc: "Ellinor Michel" <e.michel at nhm.ac.uk>
 Received: Saturday, 12 December, 2015, 4:38 AM
 Hi Ellinor,
 I guess I’d argue that the
 fact we feel the need to celebrate this and the attention it
 brings to taxonomy is in part a consequence of the limited
 reusability of taxonomic publications in the first place. We
 should be aiming for reuse by everyone interested in
 biodiversity data (e.g., the modellers using GBIF data, the
 phylogenetists grabbing sequences from GenBank to build
 trees, and so on). Maximising reuse helps make the case for
 the importance of taxonomy, I would argue it’s a better
 argument than the occasional spectacular monograph of some
 beautiful insects.
 On 11 Dec
 2015, at 11:59, Ellinor Michel <e.michel at nhm.ac.uk<mailto:e.michel at nhm.ac.uk>>
 Hi Rod
 Your comments are valid, but
 surely directed to the authors! I posted this on their
 behalf, as I have more ready access to Taxacom posting at
 the moment. You might want to broaden the target your
 comments, as the story has been picked up by Science, and a
 number of other outlets. Overall, I'd say its terrific
 that some taxonomic groundwork is being celebrated.
 I'm just guessing, but
 there are likely to be constraints on publishing costs from
 the authors' perspective so that OA was not an option.
 Thus the focus of this kind of very constructive criticism
 on your part should be the administrations of the
 organisations that the authors work for, the science funding
 agencies, and the publishers.
 In the meantime, this nice short publicity also
 does a nice job for publicising the topic, with beautiful
 From: Roderic Page [Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk<mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>]
 Sent: 11 December 2015 11:42
 To: Ellinor Michel
 Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Nature needs names: 60
 new dragonflies from Africa
 Hi Ellinor,
 While I applaud the effort, and the dragonflies
 are wonderful, it’s hard to applaud the way this paper has
 been published:
 Does it in
 an open access journal? No
 Does the article
 have a DOI so that it can be easily cited? No
 Are the names registered with ZooBank? No
 Are the DNA sequences available in GenBank?
 Is the data available for downloading?
 Has the distributional data been
 deposited in GBIF? No
 don’t wish to take away from what has clearly been a lot
 of work, but surely we need to think about the best way to
 make all this hard work as widely accessible as possible? A
 PDF with wonderful pictures of dragonflies and low
 resolution maps does not represent the best that modern
 taxonomic publishing can offer.
 * The articles says "A
 list of collection codes and corresponding BOLD numbers can
 be down- loaded from the journal website (http://www.odonatologica.com)” This is
 not a link to the data, which I can’t see anywhere on the
 web site.
 Roderic Page
 Professor of
 Institute of Biodiversity, Animal
 Health and Comparative Medicine
 College of
 Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
 Kerr Building
 University of Glasgow
 Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
 Email:  Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk<mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk><mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>
 Tel:  +44 141 330 4778
 Skype:  rdmpage
 Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/rdmpage
 LinkedIn:  http://uk.linkedin.com/in/rdmpage
 Twitter:  http://twitter.com/rdmpage
 Blog:  http://iphylo.blogspot.com<http://iphylo.blogspot.com/>
 ORCID:  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7101-9767
 Citations:  http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=4Z5WABAAAAAJ
 ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roderic_Page
 On 11 Dec
 2015, at 11:14, Ellinor Michel <e.michel at nhm.ac.uk<mailto:e.michel at nhm.ac.uk><mailto:e.michel at nhm.ac.uk>>
 [posted on behalf of
 the primary author, Klaas-Douwe 'KD' B. Dijkstra]
 'Dear colleagues,
 All awareness, conservation
 and research of nature starts with the question: which
 species is that? Names introduce species to humanity. It’s
 a biologist’s greatest importance today, but just now
 nature is under historic pressure, such research is getting
 less support.
 We aim to
 expose this paradox by naming 60 new dragonflies from
 Africa, increasing the number known by almost 10% at once.
 All are colourful and conspicuous, representing some of the
 most sensitive and beautiful of all biodiversity:
 freshwater, Earth’s most dense and threatened species
 richness — Africa, the continent that will change most in
 the 21st century — and dragonflies, the insects that may
 be among the best gauges of global change.
 We hope this message will be
 heard widely, so please share this as you wish, e.g. on
 blogs and to the local media, particularly in Africa
 Press release: https://goo.gl/KGMsyC
 Info and images: https://goo.gl/vRoJSL
 Full publication:
 Watch discovery of new species in DR Congo:
 Best wishes, also on behalf of
 my co-authors Jens and Nico, who have both made their
 exceptional contributions in their free time!
 Klaas-Douwe 'KD' B.
 Naturalis Biodiversity Center,
 Leiden, The Netherlands
 Conservation Ecology
 and Entomology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
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