[Taxacom] why Martin Fikacek resign

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Wed Oct 7 20:18:18 CDT 2015


Just judging by the excerpt you quoted (I haven't looked at the source publication), this neotype designation fails 

75.3.4. the author's reasons for believing the name-bearing type specimen(s) (i.e. holotype, or lectotype, or all syntypes, or prior neotype) to be lost or destroyed, and the steps that had been taken to trace it or them;

Stephen

--------------------------------------------
On Thu, 8/10/15, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] why Martin Fikacek resign
 To: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>, "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Thursday, 8 October, 2015, 2:09 PM
 
 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
 >   >
 >   >   _______________________________________________
 >   >   Taxacom
 Mailing List
 >   >   Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   >   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.
 >   >
 >   >
 >   _______________________________________________
 >   > Taxacom Mailing List
 >   >
 >   Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   > 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
 >   
 >   _______________________________________________
 >   Taxacom Mailing List
 >   Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   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
 




More information about the Taxacom mailing list