[Taxacom] Costelytra zealandica - Epic fail!

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Oct 14 21:12:37 CDT 2016

I wish it were that simple, John! Unless someone does something to stop it, the new name is going to get harvested by NZOR and then to all the other aggregators like GBIF, etc., and it will then look as though it has been "accepted by consensus". Most entomologists, around here anyway, don't understand the Code sufficiently well to be able to see that there is no need for the name change and every reason not to change it (or else this article would not have gone through peer review unchallenged). There are certain parallels here with the generic split of Nothofagus. It suited the authors to do the split, and nobody else wants to rock the boat. The authors are busily flloding the literature and online databases (which they have control over) with instances of the new names, again to give the impression of "consensus".

On Sat, 15/10/16, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Costelytra zealandica - Epic fail!
 To: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 Cc: "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at ucr.edu>, "taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Saturday, 15 October, 2016, 3:01 PM
 Fortunately anyone with any sense can just stick
 with the established name.
 On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at
 9:41 PM, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 Just to
 ensure that we are all on the same page on this: what the
 authors have done is to dredge up the old (1846) type
 material for what is now known universally as Costelytra
 zealandica (perhaps the most published species name in all
 of N.Z. entomology!) and find that neither of the two
 syntypes (there could be others) that they examined actually
 are that species (i.e. the species  known universally as
 Costelytra zealandica). So they have designated one of those
 syntypes as lectotype (thereby making the name Costelytra
 zealandica definitely misidentified), and renamed the
 infamous pest species as a new species Costelytra giveni.
 There is no suggestion that they have even considered
 conservation of prevailing usage as an option! Big sigh!
 Just to rub salt in the wound, the ZooBank preregistration
 for the article just consists of an AUTHOR record filled in
 as if it were a taxon record!
 So, overall, it is one small step for the authors, and one
 giant leap backwards for mankind!
 ------------------------------ --------------
 On Sat, 15/10/16, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Costelytra zealandica - Epic
  To: "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at ucr.edu>
  Cc: "taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
  Received: Saturday, 15 October, 2016, 2:17 PM
 doi/full/10.1080/00779962. 2016.1230254
  of the identity of Costelytra zealandica(White 1846)
  (Coleoptera: Scarabeidae: Melolonthinae) a
  species commonly known as the
  New Zealand
  grass grub
  M. M. Coca-Abia <http://www.tandfonline.com/
  & J.
  Romero-Samper <http://www.tandfonline.com/
  White (1846) described
  *Rhisotrogus* *zealandicus* from two syntypes,
  however no lectotype has since
 been designated.
  When the genus
  *Costelytra* Given
  1952 was described, with *Rhisotrogus
  zealandicus* White 1846 as its type
  Given’s description of this species was based on 400
  collected at different localities
  in New Zealand as White’s syntypes were
  not available to him. Later, Given (1960)
  examined one of the syntypes,
  stating that
  it was identical to specimens he used to describe
  *C. zealandica*, but a lectoype was not
  designated at this time. So,
  aims of
  this paper are: (i) to provide a detailed description
  external morphology, mouthparts and male
  genitalia based on the syntypes of
  zealandicus*; (ii) to compare these type specimens with
  by Given (1952); (iii) to
  compare the syntypes to establish if they are
  conspecific; (iv) to designate an appropriate
  lectotype and (v) to study a
  series of *C. zealandica* collected from throughout
  Zealand to establish the
 status of the taxon
  currently known as
  *C. zealandica*.
  Differences between the
 syntype specimens, and Given’s
  (1952) description of the New Zealand specimens
  were found. In addition,
  White’s syntypes
  are not conspecific. As a result *Costelytra
 giveni* n.
  sp. is established and described
 to represent
  the species currently known
  as the ‘New
  Zealand grass grub’.
  On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 8:07
  PM, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>
  > On 10/14/16
  4:33 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
  >> doi: 10.1080/00779962.2016.1230254
  > This turns up
  nothing via Google, nor does the title. Can you provide
  > link?
  > Peace,
  > --
  > 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)
  >   "There are some
  enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
  >         is the true
  method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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