[Taxacom] why Martin Fikacek resign

Michael A. Ivie mivie at montana.edu
Wed Oct 7 20:09:50 CDT 2015


Here is one such example as you asked.  It is really very simple 
boilerplate from the Code

"The fact that the type was made up of pieces of multiple species does 
not invalidate the name (Art. 17.1), and since the type is lost, and the 
name involved in taxonomic confusion, a neotype is required (Art. 75).
The specimen here designated neotype is a male labeled “Rodrigues i.; 
viii–xi.1918; H J Snell &; H P Thomasset/ Percy Sladen; Trust exped.; 
Brit. Mus.; 1926-246/ NEOTYPE; Bostrichus cephalotes; Olivier 1790; 
desg. M. A. Ivie” and deposited in the Natural History Museum, London. 
The neotype is from a different place than the original type, but 
because of a lack of available specimens from Réunion, and because this 
African species was certainly introduced to that island from the 
mainland, it is from a neighboring island, as close to the original type 
locality as is practical. Under Art. 76.3, the type locality is now 
considered to be Rodrigues Island.
This neotype is designated for the express purpose of clarifying the 
taxonomic status and type locality. The characters that distinguish this 
taxon are those of Bostrychoplites cornutus (Olivier) as given by Lesne 
(1899, 1929), Basilewski (1952) and others. The sex of the neotype 
differs from that of the lost type, as allowed under Art. 75.3.5, 
because it is desirable to secure stability of nomenclature.
As such, Bostrichus cephalotes Olivier 1790 is now to be considered a 
synonym."

Mike

On 10/7/2015 6:01 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> Ah, Mike, my favourite sparring partner! Well, perhaps you could give me an example of your attempts to validly designate neotypes, and I will then reconsider my statement accordingly, though, please bear in mind that "difficult" is a vaguely defined continuum, and I didn't specify how difficult exactly. At the very least, Art. 75 of the Code is rather long winded, and therefore somewhat "difficult" to get one's head around. It could do with simplification.
>
> Stephen
>
> --------------------------------------------
> On Thu, 8/10/15, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:
>
>   Subject: Re: [Taxacom] why Martin Fikacek resign
>   To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>   Received: Thursday, 8 October, 2015, 12:06 PM
>   
>   Stephen,
>   
>   Please, explain how exactly
>   the Code makes designating a needed Neotype
>   difficult?  I have done it several times, and
>   it has never been difficult.
>   
>   Mike
>   
>   On
>   10/7/2015 4:50 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
>   > Incidentally, the only possible problems
>   arising from the description of this fly are if there turns
>   out to be more than one externally identical species of such
>   fly, in sympatry, with different internal genitalia and/or
>   DNA. Then, we can't ever know which species was
>   described. However, this is essentially the same problem as
>   with early descriptions by Linnaeus, etc., where types no
>   longer exist. The problem is in principle rather easy to
>   solve with a neotype, though the current Code makes that
>   difficult. At worst, one just has to make a choice of which
>   species was described, and hopefully nobody else will insist
>   on a contrary choice! The Code really needs to try to make
>   potential problems easily solvable, rather then creating
>   problems!
>   >
>   >
>   Stephen
>   >
>   >
>   --------------------------------------------
>   > On Thu, 8/10/15, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>
>   wrote:
>   >
>   >   Subject: Re: [Taxacom] why
>   Martin Fikacek resign
>   >   To:
>   taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>   >   Received: Thursday, 8
>   October, 2015, 11:28 AM
>   >
>   >   Martin:
>   >
>   >   If I might, let me comment
>   on
>   >   a few things:
>   >   (1) this fly is not the
>   first
>   >   animal species
>   described solely from a
>   >   photograph, nor even the
>   first insect (as far
>   >   as I
>   can tell, that honor
>   >   goes
>   to Bebearia
>   >   banksi, a
>   nymphalid described in 1998 - with thanks to
>   >   Cosmin Manci for pointing
>   that out to me), so
>   >   it
>   does not set a
>   >   precedent;
>   it is simply
>   >   one of a
>   growing list.
>   >   (2) the
>   authors did
>   >   not attempt to
>   conceal the facts of the case, or
>   >   (for example) refer to a
>   deposited specimen
>   >   which
>   never existed, so the
>   >   work
>   cannot be
>   >   dismissed as
>   fraudulent in any way.
>   >   (3)
>   if
>   >   you are concerned about
>   people naming new species based on
>   >
>   >   limited or potentially
>   fabricated evidence
>   >   even
>   though the Code allows
>   >   for
>   it, then
>   >   why not submit a
>   letter to the Commission (with a few
>   >   thousand signatories,
>   preferably) in favor of
>   >   amending the Code in such
>   >   a way as to help
>   >   prevent what you see as being
>   abusive? For example,
>   >   establishing a strict set of
>   guidelines for
>   >   public
>   review of taxonomic
>   >   works,
>   which
>   >   must be met before a
>   name will be considered available
>   >   under the Code, rather than
>   simply accepting as
>   >   available virtually
>   >   anything that meets the
>   >   Code's definition of
>   "published"? I and others
>   >   -
>   >   including other Commissioners
>   - have been
>   >   advocating
>   this sort of change
>   >   for
>   years
>   >   now, and oddly there
>   seems to be little public support for
>   >
>   >   such measures. Would you not
>   like to be
>   >   able to cast a
>   vote for or
>   >   against any
>   >   given proposed new name
>   BEFORE being compelled to recognize
>   >
>   >   it? [Case in point: had such
>   a mechanism
>   >   existed, I
>   would have voted
>   >   against
>   >   Bebearia banksi, and in favor
>   of Marleyimyia xylocopae]
>   >   (4) if you are specifically
>   concerned with
>   >   issues of
>   quality control in
>   >   the
>   editorial
>   >   process at
>   Zookeys, then I might think you'd have a
>   >   better
>   >   chance of effecting change
>   by
>   >   remaining within the
>   system, and pushing
>   >   for a
>   dialogue on editorial policy there,
>   >   rather than resigning your
>   >   post. That is,
>   >   admittedly, just my two cents
>   as an outsider.
>   >
>   >   As I've noted
>   elsewhere,
>   >   this particular
>   case was well-documented, and
>   >   passed what I assume to be a
>   rigorous
>   >   peer-review
>   process. The authors
>   >   made
>   a
>   >   compelling case that
>   this is a new taxon, at the very least,
>   >   and
>   >   that is more than I can say
>   for many
>   >   other recent
>   taxonomic works I've
>   >   seen
>   >   for which type specimens DO
>   exist. I rather suspect that the
>   >
>   >   editors and reviewers were
>   entirely
>   >   prepared to
>   reject this paper had it
>   >   not
>   >   appeared to be a "safe
>   bet" to them, and therefore
>   >   would not judge
>   >   them as harshly as you
>   >   appear to be doing. Had this
>   work been authored
>   >   by
>   someone with no credentials, in a journal
>   >   with no peer review, I
>   >   would probably be
>   >   condemning it, as well; but
>   the Code does not allow us
>   >   to judge cases by their
>   merits before accepting
>   >   new names, just by
>   >   compliance or lack
>   >   thereof, and at times this
>   can be a problem. If we as
>   >   a community are concerned
>   about possible abuses
>   >   of
>   the Code, and we WANT
>   >   to
>   judge cases
>   >   based on their
>   merits, then the solution is to change the
>   >
>   >   system - specifically, such
>   that good
>   >   science will
>   flourish, /and bad
>   >   science
>   >   will be rejected/. That much
>   is in our power, it just takes
>   >
>   >   will, commitment, and
>   consensus. Perhaps
>   >   some
>   day there will be a
>   >   critical mass of
>   >   taxonomists who are fed up
>   enough to push for this sort
>   >   of change, but I've been
>   pushing for 20
>   >   years now,
>   and it still seems to
>   >   be
>   all
>   >   uphill.
>   >
>   >   Sincerely,
>   >
>   >   --
>   >   Doug
>   >   Yanega      Dept. of
>   Entomology
>   >      Entomology Research
>   Museum
>   >   Univ. of
>   California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314
>   >
>       skype: dyanega
>   >   phone: (951)
>   >   827-4315 (disclaimer:
>   opinions are mine, not UCR's)
>   >
>                http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>   >      "There are some
>   enterprises
>   >   in which a
>   careful disorderliness
>   >
>   >      is the true method" - Herman
>   Melville,
>   >   Moby Dick, Chap.
>   82
>   >
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>   
>   --
>   __________________________________________________
>   
>   Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D.,
>   F.R.E.S.
>   
>   Montana Entomology
>   Collection
>   Marsh Labs, Room 50
>   1911 West Lincoln Street
>   NW
>   corner of Lincoln and S.19th
>   Montana State
>   University
>   Bozeman, MT 59717
>   USA
>   
>   (406)
>   994-4610 (voice)
>   (406) 994-6029 (FAX)
>   mivie at montana.edu
>   
>   _______________________________________________
>   Taxacom Mailing List
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>   http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
>   The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be
>   searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
>   
>   Celebrating 28 years of
>   Taxacom in 2015.
>   
>
> .
>

-- 
__________________________________________________

Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50
1911 West Lincoln Street
NW corner of Lincoln and S.19th
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
USA

(406) 994-4610 (voice)
(406) 994-6029 (FAX)
mivie at montana.edu




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