[Taxacom] manuscript name question

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Oct 8 22:26:09 CDT 2015


Fungi are somewhat of a special case, given that if it ain't fruiting, then there's nothing much to describe without looking at DNA. So, there might be an advantage in making use of DNA for fungi. But why make it mandatory? That seems a tad heavy handed of whoever is pushing for this. Is there a pressing need to describe new fungi without waiting for fruiting material?

Cheers, Stephen

On Fri, 9/10/15, Bevan Weir <WeirB at landcareresearch.co.nz> wrote:

 Subject: RE: [Taxacom] manuscript name question
 To: "John Grehan" <calabar.john at gmail.com>, "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 Cc: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Friday, 9 October, 2015, 4:06 PM
 I can't wait for
 Taxacom to explode when we get the requirement for DNA
 barcodes to be part of a valid species description for
 Perhaps half of currently described
 fungal species have no DNA data.
 -----Original Message-----
 From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]
 On Behalf Of John Grehan
 Sent: Friday, 9
 October 2015 3:57 p.m.
 To: Stephen Thorpe
 Cc: Taxacom
 Subject: Re:
 [Taxacom] manuscript name question
 don't think anyone is guilty of 'knee jerk'
 reactions. I think everyone, including yourself, is
 genuinely trying to articulate their various points of view
 as best or as precisely as they can. I have found all points
 of view, and responses, of interest.
 John Grehan
 Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 10:43 PM, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 > I
 really hate the way that distinct issues are being conflated
 on this
 > matter! The essence of the
 matter has nothing to do with photographs,
 > but with preservation of primary types.
 Can you describe a new species
 > without
 preservation of the (designated) primary type? Whether
 > include a photo, or a drawing, or
 just provide written description is
 > not
 the issue. But there are two distinct scenarios: (1) your
 > description is based on examination of the
 primary type, which is then
 > discarded;
 or (2) you only know the primary type by way of a photo.
 > this case (the fly), we have
 scenario (2). Sure, just having a photo
 is nowhere near as good as having a whole specimen, but then
 having a
 > fossil is nowhere near as good
 as having a freshly killed specimen.
 So, given a choice, one would prefer to have a freshly
 killed specimen, and one would prefer to preserve it
 > But, if you only have a
 fossil, or only have a photo, and you have at
 > most only a slim  chance of ever getting
 hold of a freshly killed
 > specimen, then
 it makes sense to make the most of what one does have.
 > Hence, species are described based on
 fossil impressions in rock,
 > cloudy
 amber inclusions, etc. So why not a photograph of a
 > specimen? Whether Marshall &
 Evenhuis should have waited to see if new
 > material could be obtained is a moot
 point. There may not have been
 > any real
 need to describe this fly now, except to feed the fires
 > Pensoft's desire for publicity.
 But these are all distinct issues to
 > be
 weighed up and thought about. Knee jerk reactions against
 > describing new species from photos really
 isn't helpful.
 > On Fri, 9/10/15, JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com>
 >  Subject:
 Re: [Taxacom] manuscript name question
 >  To: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 >  Received: Friday, 9 October, 2015, 3:00
 >  Dean:
 >  “There seems to
 be a negative reaction to the term "dead  bodies"
 > animals  that are preserved in
 museum collection. I find that
 >  I
 have never seen this term used in journals, which makes me 
 > it was used as click-bait. It
 is not a direct way to explain  things
 to  “non-native” speakers, it is a catchy title
 plonked  there in the
 > hopes  that BBC
 or CNN will report the paper (as they sometimes  do).
 > But  publicity in a matter like this
 could have unintended
 > consequences.
 It  is already hard enough collecting “dead bodies”,
 > imagine  if you give  them (PETA, WWF,
 any bureaucratic body,...) ammo
 through  scientific  legitimacy.
 >  “As to whether it's worth putting
 a name to a  distinctively new
 species,  isn't that rather the whole point of
 You misunderstand me Dean. The point I am trying to make
 is  that, if
 > a  particular species is
 doomed, keeping a couple of pictures  is
 > pretty  much useless other than serving
 to name something.
 >  Nomenclature is
 >  important because it is the bedrock of
 something (biology,  ecology,
 > etc).
 Otherwise it is just a rock, a list of names (and you 
 > even be certain that the list
 is correct nor have the means  to
 >  And physcial specimena or,
 lacking that, tissue samples,  contain the
 > information that gives “value” to the
 >  With a
 physical specimen I can not only verify the original
 > hypothesis  in the future, but also
 access a large amount of
 > information 
 pertaining to the species itself (biology, phylogenetics,
 > feeding,  etc). With a photograph I only
 have pixels, and they will be
 > the
 same  pixels forever.Its value as a store of information
 > diminishes with the  passage of time
 whereas physical specimens become
 more  valuable (DNA,
 >  X- ray
 microtomography are just two recent examples I can  think
 >  Photographs should be, IMO, a
 last resort when faced with no  other
 choice, and to me this fly isn´t such a case. Fast and 
 loose is a
 > slippery slope to aliens and
 >  Best
 >  Jason
 >  Taxacom Mailing List
 >  Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.eduhttp://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.
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 Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
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 searched at:
 > http://taxacom.markmail.org
 > Celebrating 28 years
 of Taxacom in 2015.
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