[Taxacom] Science 24 Feb 2017 letter: Photos belong in taxonomic Code

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Feb 23 22:43:33 CST 2017


>Such letters are not reviewed, only edited<

Yes, that's my point!

Anyway, somewhat "amusingly", their argument is actually quite nonsensical anyway. They argue that photos should be types (or proxies for types) because preserved specimens can, in some cases, be useless. But hold on, if the type is useless, you have to rely on the description and illustrations anyway! That isn't a good argument for not bothering to preserve a type specimen. Preserve it anyway, and if it is useful then all good, but if it deteriorates to uselessness then rely on the description and illustrations. That is standard practice!

My own argument relating to useless type specimens was different. I was using it to point out that the mere existence of a preserved specimen may be useless, and photographs may be more useful in some cases. This was simply to counter those who were bleating that without a preserved type we lose all objectivity and with a preserved type we have everything we need.

Stephen

--------------------------------------------
On Fri, 24/2/17, Frank T. Krell <Frank.Krell at dmns.org> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Science 24 Feb 2017 letter: Photos belong in taxonomic Code
 To: "John Grehan" <calabar.john at gmail.com>
 Cc: "Taxacom Mailinglist" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>, "arsg at unicamp.br" <arsg at unicamp.br>
 Received: Friday, 24 February, 2017, 5:07 PM
 
 Such letters are not
 reviewed, only edited.
 Frank Krell
 
 From: John Grehan [mailto:calabar.john at gmail.com]
 Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 8:59 PM
 To: Frank T. Krell <Frank.Krell at dmns.org>
 Cc: Dilrukshan Wijesinghe <dpwijesinghe at yahoo.com>;
 Taxacom Mailinglist <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>;
 arsg at unicamp.br
 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Science 24 Feb 2017
 letter: Photos belong in taxonomic Code
 
 So if the issue is that obvious why did the
 reviewers for such a 'prestigious' journal like
 Science miss that?
 
 John
 Grehan
 
 On Thu, Feb 23, 2017
 at 10:41 PM, Frank T. Krell <Frank.Krell at dmns.org<mailto:Frank.Krell at dmns.org>>
 wrote:
 The authors of this letter write that
 the Code should allow photographs and movies to be eligible
 for designation as primary types. "This change would
 allow valid species descriptions [...] without violating the
 Code."
 
 May I point out
 that describing new species on the basis of photographs or
 movies does *not* violate the Code. It is just that the
 specimens shown in those media are the types, not the
 photographs or movies themselves. In these cases the types
 are not preserved and, in most cases, are deemed to be lost.
 But this is still Code-compliant.
 
 It may violate good taxonomic practice though -
 in Cases where types could have been preserved.
 
 Please read the Code, people.
 There is definitely no revision of the Code needed to
 accommodate photo-based descriptions.
 On the
 contrary, I would say that the Code should more strongly
 discourage descriptions without preserved type specimens
 when type specimens could easily be preserved and remain
 diagnostic in the preserved stage.
 
 Frank
 
 
 Dr. Frank-Thorsten Krell
 
 Senior Curator of Entomology,
 Editor-in-Chief
 Commissioner and Councillor,
 International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
 Department of Zoology
 Denver
 Museum of Nature & Science
 2001 Colorado
 Blvd
 Denver, Colorado 80205-5798, U.S.A.
 Frank.krell at dmns.org<mailto:Frank.krell at dmns.org>
 Phone 303.370.8244<tel:303.370.8244>
 Fax 303.331.6492<tel:303.331.6492>
 http://www.dmns.org/krell-lab
 
 
 
 -----Original Message-----
 From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>]
 On Behalf Of Dilrukshan Wijesinghe
 Sent:
 Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:55 PM
 To:
 Taxacom Mailinglist <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>>
 Subject: [Taxacom] Science 24 Feb 2017 letter:
 Photos belong in taxonomic Code
 
 There is a Letter by André Rinaldo Senna
 Garrafoni & André Victor Lucci Freitas in Science 24
 February 2017 [Vol. 355, Issue 6327], p. 805, titled
 "Photos belong in taxonomic Code". The authors
 advocate the use of photos & movies to serve as types,
 especially for meiofaunal organisms (e.g. gastrotrichs),
 specimens of which lose diagnostic features after
 preservation.
 Priyantha
  D.
 P. Wijesinghe
 dpwijesinghe at yahoo.com<mailto:dpwijesinghe at yahoo.com>
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 Nurturing
 Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Years,
 1987-2017.
 
 _______________________________________________
 Taxacom Mailing List
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 The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be
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 Nurturing
 Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Years,
 1987-2017.
 


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