[Taxacom] why Martin Fikacek resign

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Oct 8 14:34:39 CDT 2015


It is very curious the way that Mike has handled this thread - almost as if he was trying to set a trap for me! First off, he fixates on a vague and tangential comment I made about the Code making neotype designations "difficult". He interrogates me as to exactly why I think it is "difficult". When I reply with a request for him to provide an example, he leaves out a crucial passage. I explicitly state that I am basing my judgement on his example as presented by him, and I point out that the neotype designation, as presented by him, is invalid. He then tries desperately to save himself with some sort of inane sophistry along the lines of "lost" means "can't find it", so stating that something is lost is equivalent to statting a reason why one thinks it is lost (i.e. "I can't find it"). Finally, he provides the crucial missing passage, and then claims victory over me! Very odd indeed ...

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" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Thursday, 8 October, 2015, 2:27 PM
 
 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
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   _______________________________________________
 >   >   >   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
 >
 >
 
 -- 
 __________________________________________________
 
 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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