[Taxacom] why Martin Fikacek resign

Michael A. Ivie mivie at montana.edu
Wed Oct 7 20:27:06 CDT 2015


B. and W. (2007) list the type of Bostrichus cephalotes Olivier to be in 
the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, without comment, but it 
had already been reported lost by the curator of that collection, 
bostrichid specialist Pierre Lesne (Lesne 1905, 1909), and was not 
reported to have been seen by any other researcher, including my failed 
search for it on several visits to Paris. W. (in litt.) confirmed that 
the actual type was not seen to be there, therefore, the B. and W. 
(2007) reference is for where it should be, not where it actually 
resides. The collection of the King of France was one of the collections 
that formed the core of the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in 
Paris, so there is nowhere else to expect it. Thus, the type of 
Bostrichus cephalotes Olivier must be considered to be lost.

On 10/7/2015 7:18 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> 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
>   >   >
>   >   >   _______________________________________________
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>   >   >
>   >   >   Celebrating
>   28 years of
>   >   >   Taxacom in
>   2015.
>   >   >
>   >   >
>   >   _______________________________________________
>   >   > Taxacom Mailing List
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>   >   >
>   >   > 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
>
>

-- 
__________________________________________________

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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