Article

Preserve specimens for reproducibility

Correspondence
Revise rules on
conflicts of interest
We contend that definitions of
conflicts of interest (COI) in peer
review need to be reassessed
to reflect modern research
practices. This could markedly
increase the speed and quality of
peer review.
For example, many potential
reviewers are disqualified under
current rules on co-authorship.
However, research papers now
have increasing numbers of
co-authors and their interaction
may be little more than episodic,
with no genuine COI in practice.
The judgement of an author who,
say, contributed a data set to a
paper is unlikely to be corrupted
when reviewing a new paper
from former co-authors.
In our editorial experience,
co-authors typically have a sound
understanding of each other’s
work and provide frank and
constructive feedback. Using
them as reviewers avoids settling
for candidates who may be too
far removed from the topic or not
sufficiently senior in the field.
We suggest that only long-
running co-authorship should be
counted as a COI in peer review.
Other potential COIs should
include supervisor–student
relationships, shared institutional
affiliations and collaborators
working on the same project,
with an expiry date if appropriate.
Indrė Žliobaitė, Mikael
Fortelius University of Helsinki,
Finland.
indre.zliobaite@helsinki.fi
Preserve specimens
for reproducibility
The description of a new
species without a preserved
type specimen has always been
permitted(T.Pape et al. Nature
537, 307; 2016) — but it should
not become the norm. Original
specimens allow testing of
the hypotheses that underlie
descriptions and so ensure
reproducibility— an obligation
Australia too casual
with protection law
The Australian government
has set a dangerous precedent
in granting exemptions “in the
national interest” from its 1999
Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act.
This laxity adversely affects
threatened species and disregards
scientific advice.
Australias former environment
minister Greg Hunt granted
the latest exemption. It permits
habitat clearance in Batemans
Bay, New South Wales, until the
end of this year and dispersal by
Open up research
evaluation in China
Strong academic opposition
has led China’s ministry of
education to suspend a policy
that would effectively control
where Chinese res earchers
should publish their work. In my
view, this scientifically disruptive
intervention should never be
reactivated.
The policy, launched by the
ministry’s Academic Degrees
and Graduate E ducation
Development Center (CDGDC)
in April this year and repealed
two weeks later, centred on
an ‘A-list’ of top international
journals. The position of a
journal in the list is determined
by impact factor, years after
the global movement away
Renewables from
the bottom up
Alan Bernstein and colleagues
recommend a global grand-
challenge strategy for prioritizing
clean-energy research (Nature
538, 30; 2016). In my view, this
cockpit’ approach — relying
on top-down steering to seek
out global solutions— risks
galvanizing research along a
fixed path.
A diverse set of research
initiatives implemented across
different scales could be a better
approach. That would deliver
ways of using energy sustainably
under different social and
cultural circumstances. The
long-term questions for energy
research are as much about the
evolution of energy use as the
revolution in its production.
Jari Lyytimäki Finnish
Environment Institute, Helsinki,
Finland.
jari.lyytimaki@ymparisto.fi
“non-lethal means” of camps of
the threatened grey-headed flying
fox (Pteropus poliocephalus). This
species is crucial for native forest
regeneration. Forced dispersals
using loud noise, smoke and
lights “often lead to flying fox
stress, injuries, or fatalities” (see
go.nature.com/2f9azyl) and have
proved costly and inefficient (see
B. J. Roberts et al. PLoS ONE 7,
e42532; 2012).
Hunt also signed an exemption
in 2014 to permit a shark cull in
Western Australia (see go.nature.
com/2f4mrdy), which included
the protected great white shark
(Carcharodon carchar ias). Then
there is the ongoing destruction
of endangered forests in New
South Wales, habitats for many
threatened species.
In our view, Australias federal
and state governments should be
more protective of biodiversity.
Christian Vincenot Kyo to
University, Japan.
Sophie Petit University of South
Australia, Adelaide.
vincenot@i.kyoto-u.ac.jp
from its well-documented
deficiencies as a tool for research
assessment (see www.ascb.org/
dora). Entries also depend on
inclusion in national databases,
such as the Chinese Science
Citation Database and the
Chinese Social Sciences Citation
Index. This could open the
door to corruption as Chinese
universities that publish journals
vie for database entries.
China’s Discipline Ranking
(CDR) system intends to use
the list to assess a university’s
performance by the number of its
academics that publish in these
journals. Rewards to scientists
publishing in the ‘top’ Chinese
journals might include payments
and questionable promotions, for
example, weakening the already
distorted evaluation system and
impeding the development of
science in China.
I suggest that the CDGDC
needs to be more service-
minded, recognizing that this
contentious policy falls outside
its authority. Making evaluation
systems that are politically
independent, non-profit and
professional would help to
break the CDGDC and CDR
monopoly. Universities, too,
should rethink the merit of
political ranking lists.
Lihua Yang Beihang University,
Beijing, China.
lihua.yang@buaa.edu.cn
and cornerstone of the scientific
method.
It is taxonomic convention
when describing a new species
to deposit type specimens in a
publicly accessible col lection.
This allows independent
re-examination, reinterpretation
and re-evaluation (Nature 535,
323–324; 2016). Although
photographs can point to possible
undescribed species and help to
document biodiversity, they are
open to misinterpretation (and
also to manipulation).
Photographs alone should
remain the exception, used only
when specimens cannot be
preserved for technical, legal or
conservation reasons. Properly
vouchered specimens are
otherwise essential in biodiversity
research, just as “laboratory
notebooks and records must be
available for independent review”
in the experimental sciences
(C.G.Begley et al. Nature 525,
25–27; 2015).
Frank T. Krell* Denver Museum
of Nature & Science, Colorado,
USA.
frank.krell@dmns.org
*On behalf of 5 correspondents
(see go.nature.com/2fiehxz for a
full list).
168 | NATURE | VOL 539 | 10 NOVEMBER 2016
Supplementary information to:
Preserve specimens for reproducibility
Full list of signatories to a Correspondence published in Nature 539, 168 (2016);
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/539168b
Frank-Thorsten Krell* Denver Museum of Nature & Science,
Colorado, USA.
*frank.krell@dmns.org
Petr Klimeš Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre of CAS, České
Budějovice, Czech Republic.
Luiz A. Rocha California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco,
California, USA.
Martin Fikáček National Museum, Prague, and Charles University,
Prague, Czech Republic.
Scott E. Miller National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington DC, USA.
CORRESPONDENCE COMMENT
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION | NATURE | 1
... In the November 10 issue of that same year, Nature published yet another follow-up note, one by Frank T. Krell of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, entitled "Preserve specimens for reproducibility," and joined by 5 signatories. This note was in opposition to Pape's, as the title indicates (Krell 2016). Both Pape and Krell are current commissioners of the ICZN. 2 Nature had, however, already refused (on October 18) to publish a different response to Pape's note, one submitted on September 25 (just 10 days after Pape's note was published) and titled "Photography-based taxonomy is inadequate, unnecessary, and potentially harmful for biological sciences." ...
... Some confidently stated that ICZN rules have never required deposition of a voucher specimen prior to the naming of a new species (Wakeham-Dawson, Morris, & Tubbs 2002;Polaszek et al. 2005). The current President of the ICZN recently declared that species could be named just from photographs (Pape 2016), while another member of the commission urged against that practice (Krell 2016). Certain commentators have announced that members of the commission cannot speak officially for the commission outside of the published text of the rules themselves (Dubois & Nemésio 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Scientists have been arguing for more than twenty-five years about whether it is a good idea to collect voucher specimens from particularly vulnerable biological populations. Some think that, obviously, scientists should not be harvesting (read: killing) organisms from, for instance, critically endangered species. Others think that, obviously, it is the special job of scientists to collect precisely such information before any chance of retrieving it is forever lost. The character, extent, longevity, and span of the ongoing disagreement indicates that this is likely to be a hard problem to solve. Nonetheless, the aim of this paper is to help field biologists figure out what do to when collecting a voucher specimen risks extinction. Here I present and assess varying practices of specimen collection for both extant (i.e., neontological) and extinct (i.e., paleontological) species in order to compare and contrast cases where extinction risk both is and is not a problem. When it comes to taking vouchers from extant species at some risk of extinction, I determine that those advocating for conservative approaches to collection as well as those advocating for liberal information-gathering practices have good reasons to assess things in the way they each do. This means that there is unlikely to be a decisive, one-size-fits-all response to this problem. Still, progress can be made. We can acknowledge the risks of proceeding in either manner, as well as the uncertainty about how best to proceed (which will be deep in some cases). We can proceed as thoughtfully as possible, and be ready to articulate a rationale for whichever procedure is used in any particular case.
... The deposition of parasites into publicly accessible museum collections is critically important. This is especially true for the descriptions of new species (Krell, 2016). As discussed above, an illustration of such need is the situation with P. lintoni and H. nimia, Oliva et al., 2015Oliva et al., , 2018. ...
Article
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Abstract: The aim of the present review was to evaluate the state of knowledge of trematodes (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda) in Chile, covering taxonomy, biology, geographic distribution, and a checklist of all taxa reported in the country. A total of 277 articles published between 1849 and December 2020, have been analyzed. A total of 215 taxa belonging to the subclasses Digenea and Aspidosgastrea have been reported from Chile, 119 of them identifi ed to species level and only three species with completely described life cycles. Trematodes from Chile were found parasitizing both native and exotic species, however, no records from insects and most crustacean classes exist. Overall, 159 out of 3989 potential host native species were reported as hosts for trematodes. Molecular tools were used in more recent taxonomic studies. Although research on trematodes in Chile is on the rise, there is a clear need for more detailed taxonomic studies to include integrative taxonomy approach, deposition of helminths in collections and the training of new generation of parasitologists to better understand the diversity, ecology and evolutionary relationships of trematodes in the region.
... Likewise, limited access to primary specimen data prohibits scientific replication, limits the extension of existing work (Hackett et al. 2008, Carpenter et al. 2009), perpetuates error (Bortolus 2008), and disproportionately bars less-developed or underresourced institutions from contributing to science (Hampton et al. 2015, Bezuidenhout et al. 2017, Lendemer et al. 2020. Furthermore, the current failure in specimen deposition will inevitably lead to major sampling gaps at a time of rapid ecosystem change (Schmitt et al. 2018, Colella et al. 2019, Salvador and Cunha 2020, contributing to widespread monitoring and reproducibility crises in the life sciences (Krell 2016, Hunter 2017, Michener 2019, Lendemer et al. 2020. Although there have been calls from various subdisciplines ranging from ecology to dendrochronology for increased specimen deposition (Creasman 2011, Schilthuizen et al. 2015, the problem transcends any single discipline and therefore requires broadscale and immediate community-wide action. ...
Article
The open-science movement seeks to increase transparency, reproducibility, and access to scientific data. As primary data, preserved biological specimens represent records of global biodiversity critical to research, conservation, national security, and public health. However, a recent decrease in specimen preservation in public biorepositories is a major barrier to open biological science. As such, there is an urgent need for a cultural shift in the life sciences that normalizes specimen deposition in museum collections. Museums embody an open-science ethos and provide long-term research infrastructure through curation, data management and security, and community-wide access to samples and data, thereby ensuring scientific reproducibility and extension. We propose that a paradigm shift from specimen ownership to specimen stewardship can be achieved through increased open-data requirements among scientific journals and institutional requirements for specimen deposition by funding and permitting agencies, and through explicit integration of specimens into existing data management plan guidelines and annual reporting.
... Another taxonomy-related issue recently discussed is the deposition of organisms in accessible collections such as museums, which is also applicable to parasites (Krell 2016). A not negligible percentage of surveys did not specify if isolated helminths were placed in a helminthological collection (53.3%), including some cases of new species such as Variolepis fernandensis (Nybelin 1929), Notocotylus tachyeretis (Duthoit 1931) and C. (C.) phenisci (Baudet 1937). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Helminths are an important component of biodiversity with over 24,000 species parasitising wild birds globally, with this figure on the rise given the growing interest in wildlife parasitology. The present study aimed to establish an updated baseline of the helminthological surveys on wild birds from Chile. Thus, available publications were reviewed to build a parasite-host association checklist and also to discuss the state of knowledge regarding these parasites. As a result, 92 publications were counted between the years 1892 and 2019. With regard to helminth parasites, 174 taxa belonging to 3 phyla and 37 families were recorded. However, 114 taxa have been identified to species level, with the rest remaining incompletely described. Also, 4 taxa corresponded to new genera and 16 to new species for science. The most reported parasites were platyhelminthes (53.9%) followed by nematodes (36.2%) and acanthocephalans (9.2%). Sixty-five avian species from 19 orders have been recorded as hosts, with most of them having been studied only once (64.6%). Out of these, the order Charadriiformes had the highest number of publications (n=23). In the case of the avian species present in the country, 14.2% of native, 40% of endemic and 22.2% of exotic species have been recorded hosting helminths. Regarding heteroxenous parasites, only 2 species have had their life cycles elucidated. Among the methodologies used for parasitic identification, 48.9% of the studies used morphological tools, 5.4% used molecular tools and 4.3% used both tools. For that reason, there are evident gaps in the data concerning the hosts sampled, methodologies and issues related to the biology of parasites such as life cycles, among others. In this sense, the need for specialists and cooperative research becomes indispensable to improve our understanding of helminths.
... La apropiada colecta, preservación y preparación de parásitos son tareas fundamentales para asegurar su identificación y posterior depósito en alguna colección de museo, de tal manera que facilite su futura revisión por parte de parasitólogos (1). Si bien existen algunos protocolos, estos varían según el enfoque de los autores en la clasificación de los parásitos (morfologíca y/o molecular) (2), por lo que una recopilación de las técnicas más apropiadas se hace necesario para establecer un consenso de estas. ...
Article
Full-text available
Parasites constitute the most numerous organisms in terrestrial ecosystems, both in magnitude and number of species; however, knowledge of them is fragmentary and scarcely taken into consideration. Performing the right preparation and identification of parasites is vital when a parasitic diversity survey is carried out in wildlife. Thus it is necessary to know the methods of collection, preservation and identification methods for parasites. A collection of parasites could be successful but if relevant aspects regarding manipulation for every group of parasites are not considered in the determination of identification, the study will be fruitless. In the present review, we provide the most valuable details regarding work with parasites, since these are collected until they are classified by the specialist for every taxonomic group. The treatment for every endoparasite and ectoparasite species is different for each group and according to the conditions of every specimen (alive or dead parasites, fresh or frozen, pre- or post- ingestion of blood). The techniques described in the literature are somewhat varied; consequently, here we describe the techniques with better results in our experience and currently the ones most used by the international parasitological community. Furthermore, in a second part of this review we provide a list of mandatory references, with several classic parasitology literatures for every taxonomic group. The proper collection, preservation and/or mounting of parasites allow us to study and known their structures, classify them taxonomically and help us distinguish them from other specimens from other locations. In this way, we conserve part of the scientific heritage by giving a permanent record of the world's species, in addition to preserving material that will allow us to understand taxonomic and biogeographic problems, distributional changes, extinction of host species and their parasites, as well as detect new biological resources, among other advantages.
... 2 度 目 の 改 正 は,2012 年 に 行 わ れ(International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 2012a, b) , 同年 9 月 4 日より発効し,同様の内容が 9 月 30 日付 けの動物命名法紀要においても公表された(Interna- tional Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 2012c) . な お, こ の 改 正 は 同 年 1 月 1 日 に さ か の ぼって効力をもつ(International Commission on Zoo- logical Nomenclature, 2012a, b, c) . こ の 改 正 で は, 光学ディスクによる公表が認められなくなったほ か,電子出版のみによる公表が認められるなど,公 表の要件が大きく変更された.詳細は野田・西川 (2013)による日本語訳と解説を参照されたい. 布告書 45 による今回の改正はしたがって,3 度目 の改正となる.今回は,保存されていない標本を担 名タイプとして指定することに関して,4 つの勧告 が追加され,用語集に"保存された標本"という項 目が加わった.上述のように,布告書による改正は 暫定的なものである(条 80.1) . 改正内容 1) 以下の勧告を追加する. a) 勧告 73G.保存されていない標本を担名タイプ として指定する明確な理由.なぜ保存された標 本が 1 つも,それが完全な生物 1 個体であるか あるいはそのような 1 個体の一部であるかに関 わらず,その新しいタクソンの担名タイプとし て用いられないのか,また,なぜ保存された担 名タイプが 1 つも入手できない時点でそのタク ソンの正式な命名が必要なのか,詳しい理由を 述べるべきである. b) 勧告 73H.しかるべき配慮の表明.保存された 担名タイプなしに新しい種階級群タクソンを設 立するときは,その新しいタクソンの物的な標 本を捕獲し,保存するためにとられた手段につ いて,および,自然史コレクション中に存在す る保存された標本を探し出すためにとられた手 段についての両方またはどちらか一方を,詳し く記述すべきである. c) 勧告 73I.専門家との協議.保存されていない 標本を担名タイプとして指定する前に,問題の 群の専門家と協議すべきである. d) 勧告 73J.包括的な図像および測定結果.保存さ れた担名タイプなしに新しい種階級群タクソン を設立するときは,潜在的な識別形質の広範な 記述(例えば,複数の高解像度元画像,DNA 配 列など)を可能な限り完全に提供すべきである. 2) 用語集の見出し語"標本"の下に,以下の項目 を追加する. ※下線を付した語は,国際動物命名規約第 4 版日本 語版(動物命名法国際審議会,2000)の用語集にお Jäger, 2016;Krell, 2016;Marshall and Evenhuis, 2016;Pape, 2016;Santos et al., 2016;Aguiar et al., 2017;Faúndez, 2017;Garraffoni and Freitas, 2017;Grandcolas, 2017;Raposo and Kirwan, 2017Photography-based taxonomy is inadequate, unnecessary, and potentially harmful for biological sciences. ...
Article
This paper summarizes the previous amendments of the 4th edition of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and presents the Japanese version of the latest provisional amendment and the explanatory note published by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature in March 2017. In the latest provisional amendment, four recommendations were added to Article 73 and one term, “specimen, preserved”, was added to the Glossary concerning the establishment of a new species-group taxon without a preserved name-bearing type. Additionally, we review the background of this provisional amendment. All zoologists should pay careful attention to this amendment in order to advance zoological sciences and their reproducibility.
... El uso de los registros fotográficos en la taxonomía es un tópico fuertemente discutido en la comunidad científica (Pape et al. 2016;Krell et al. 2016;Ceríaco et al. 2016;Thorpe 2017;Faúndez 2017). Uno de los principales impedimentos para la identificación de arañas a través de fotografías es que la mayoría de los caracteres diagnósticos de las especies son de la morfología genital y no son observables en las fotografías convencionales, por lo cual el uso de las fotografías para la identificación de especies de arañas no es adecuado. ...
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Resumen. Aglaoctenus Tullgren, 1905 es un género de arañas sudamericanas perteneciente a la familia Lycosidae, del cual se conocen cinco especies. Se reporta por primera vez su presencia en Chile, donde en febrero de 2018 se registraron ejemplares de la especie Aglaoctenus puyen Piacentini, 2011 en un ambiente altoandino. Se observaron y fotografiaron un macho y una hembra cargando sus crías en el abdomen, en un faldeo occidental del cerro Tronador, dentro del Parque Nacional Vicente Pérez Rosales, en la Región de Los Lagos. Se aportan datos y fotos que revelan hábitos de esta especie recientemente descrita y poco conocida. Estos hallazgos resaltan la necesidad de realizar relevamientos en otras localidades al este y al oeste de los Andes, en busca de esta especie. Palabras clave: Aglaoctenus puyen, ambiente altoandino, araña lobo, cuidado de crías, Región de Los Lagos. Abstract. Aglaoctenus Tullgren, 1905 is a genus of South American spiders that belong to the Lycosidae family, of which five species are known. We report by the first time its presence in Chile, based on specimens of Aglaoctenus puyen Piacentini, 2011 that were observed in highlands of the Andes, in February 2018. A male, and a female carrying spiderlings on her abdomen, were recorded and photographed in a West slope of Tronador mount, at Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, in Los Lagos Region. We present data and pictures that reveal undocumented habits of this recently described species. These findings highlight the need of exploration efforts in other localities East and West of the Andean Range.
... Beaman and Cellinese 2012) in recent years. Although most researchers are in agreement that new species, taxa and their distributions should not be described merely on digital photos under most circumstances (Amorim et al. 2016, Krell 2016, digital collections can serve as a powerful resource leading to their discoveries as they can point to the material for later direct examination scattered over collections, or direct to the sampling localities. ...
Article
Full-text available
Public awareness has been raised on the importance of natural history and academic collections for science and society in a time when reduced financial support and staff cuts are prevalent. In the field of biology, new species and new interspecies associations are constantly discovered by making use of museum collections, digitalised materials or citizen science programs. In our study, the Myrmica Latreille, 1804 image collection of AntWeb.org was screened for fungal ectoparasites. A total of 397 imaged specimens from 133 species were visually investigated. A single specimen of M. hellenica Finzi, 1926, collected in Greece by U. Sahlberg, showed a conspicuous fungal infection. The parasite was identified using microscopic methods as Rickia wasmannii Cavara, an ectoparasitic fungal species specialised to Myrmica ants. This finding represents a new country record and a new Myrmica species for the host spectrum of R. wasmannii. According to our results, online entomological databases can be screened relatively easily for ectoparasitic fungal infections from new hosts and new regions. However, depending on quality of the insect voucher photos, additional investigation of the material could be needed to confirm the identity of the parasite.
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Helminths are an important component of biodiversity with over 24,000 species parasitising wild birds globally, with this figure on the rise given the growing interest in wildlife parasitology. The present study aimed to establish an updated baseline of the helminthological surveys on wild birds from Chile. Available publications were reviewed to build a parasite-host association checklist and also to discuss the state of knowledge regarding these parasites. A total of 92 publications were found between the years 1892 and 2019. Regarding helminth parasites, 174 taxa belonging to 3 phyla and 37 families were recorded, 114 taxa were identified at species level, with the rest remaining incompletely described. Also, 4 taxa corresponded to new genera and 16 to new at species for science. The most reported parasites were platyhelminthes (53.9%) followed by nematodes (36.2%) and acanthocephalans (9.2%). Sixty-five avian species from 19 orders have been recorded as hosts, with most of them having been studied only once (64.6%). Out of these, the order Charadriiformes had the highest number of publications (n=23). In the case of the avian species present in the country, 14.2% of native, 40% of endemic and 22.2% of exotic species have been recorded hosting helminths. Regarding heteroxenous parasites, only 2 species have had their life cycles elucidated. Among the methodologies used for parasitic identification, 48.9% of the studies used morphological tools, 5.4% used molecular tools and 4.3% used both tools. For that reason, there are evident gaps in the data concerning the hosts sampled, methodologies and issues related to the biology of parasites such as life cycles, among others. In this sense, the need for specialists and cooperative research becomes indispensable to improve our understanding of helminths.
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The option of describing new taxa using photographs as proxies for lost or escaped ('unpreserved') type specimens has been rarely used but is now undergoing renewed scrutiny as taxonomists are increasingly equipped to capture descriptive information prior to capturing and preserving type specimens. We here provide a historical perspective on this practice from both nomenclatural and practical points of view, culminating in a summary and discussion of a new Declaration of the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature containing recommendations about descriptions without preserved specimens. We conclude that although descriptions using photographs as proxy types are Code-compliant and occasionally justified, the conditions under which such descriptions are justified are likely to remain relatively rare. Increasing restrictions on specimen collecting, which we deplore because of the centrality of collecting and collections to all of biodiversity science, could lead to more 'proxy type' descriptions in those taxa in which photographs can provide sufficient information for descriptions, but we predict that such cases will remain infrequent exceptions. Most of us were taught in our academic infancy that the description of a new species requires a published description and a designated type, and most entomologists involved with the discovery and description of new species realize that many other criteria should be met in order to justify a species description. We do not all agree on exactly where the bar should be set, but there is general agreement that new species must at a minimum be justified in the context of related and similar species and must be diagnosable. Descriptions of species that cannot be subsequently recognized are detrimental, and descriptions of species outside the context of the rest of their clade are usually of little use. The requirements for a published description and a designated type are embedded in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN 1999) and are governed by specific rules; the criteria for justified species descriptions and 'good' taxonomy are matters of taxonomic judgement. While new species have occasionally been described and formally named without a preserved type specimen, a recent paper by Marshall and Evenhuis (2015) explicitly discussing and executing such a procedure sparked a heated worldwide debate on social media and in a still growing number of formal publications. This discussion has sometimes drifted into emotional or uninformed arguments and is becoming increasingly repetitive but demonstrates that the issue is a controversial one. The coincidence of the launch of Insect Systematics and Diversity and the publication of a Declaration by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) in March 2017 on descriptions without preserved types (ICZN 2017) led to the drafting of this paper. Our aim is to calm the waves by giving a historical perspective of the issue, clarifying the rules of nomenclature, and emphasizing the centrality of taxonomic judgment and good practice.
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