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geckodan
11-09-2007, 01:35 AM
I am still struggling to understand the process by which a name is accepted or rejected. There are several quite valid (in terms of chromosomal studies and blatent morphological differences) species that occur within the hobby that are referred to by outdated names for no other reason than the new names have been overlooked.
For example, Underwoodisaurus milli is the name referring to the western form of the thick tailed gecko but nobody uses the well justified Underwoodisaurus husbandi for the eastern population. At the same time some are happy to interchange Underwoodisaurus and Nephrurus.
Oedura marmorata has numerous separations within its group. Two that I have in my collection are Oedura greeri (referring to those specimens formerly of Oedura marmorata from the Alice Springs area) and Oedura attenboroughi referring to very specific forms from central QLD .
It seems to me that whilst any taxonomist may suggest a new species, not every taxonomist gets to keep their discovery valid. Is there a hierachy of who gets the final say or is it just "the squeaky wheel thats gets the grease".??

Any comments please????

nwheat
11-09-2007, 11:45 AM
There are actually rules that govern which name takes precedence. I don't know all the rules myself, but you can find them here (http://www.iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp). Getting a name to be used regularly by hobbyists is more difficult - we get used to using a particular name and it is hard to change it!

Happy reading!;-)

gymnodactylus
11-10-2007, 10:20 PM
Danny,
There is no hierarchy or any other reason to accept or reject a species description other than the evidence presented in the published description. Species descriptions published in journals (which the vast majority are) are subject to peer review where two or three reviewers, experts in a particular taxonomic group, will critique the paper and comment on it. The description will be published if reviewers and the journal editor are in general agreement that the description is sound. Then it’s up to readers to be persuaded. A good species description should convince readers that the new species is different from other, related species, under whatever species recognition criteria the author(s) prescribe to.
The examples you give are a bit different since they are based on Wells and Wellington descriptions. The species described in the two Wells and Wellington papers have been widely criticized and were generally unconvincing to the broader herpetological community. That said, most of the names are valid and some have subsequently been applied to valid taxa (e.g. Christinus, Pogona henrylawsoni, etc…). Two of the species you mentioned have been synonomized, Oedura attenboroughi into O. marmorata and Underwoodisaurus husbandi into U. milii. It is possible they are valid species but the descriptions given by Wells and Wellington were just not convincing. Oedura greeri is likely not a valid name (nomen nudum or naked name) as the original description was inadequate, referring only to a previously published illustration and the species range and not actually diagnosing the species.
Another thing to consider is that taxonomic names are assumed to represent actual evolutionary entities and can be considered taxonomic hypotheses. Hypotheses, of course, can be tested using different types of data (morphological, chromosomal, genetic, ecological, etc…) and different methodologies. Some taxonomic hypotheses will hold up to these tests and remain valid while others will be rejected. Keep this in mind when reading a species description. Could the taxonomic hypothesis presented by the author(s) hold up using a different type of data? Were enough specimens of the new species and related species examined? Compare some species description published recently (check out Journal of Herpetology, Herpetologica, Zootaxa, etc…) to the Wells and Wellington papers and you’ll see what a poor job W & W did. Again, a few of those species have been shown to be valid, a few more have been shown to be invalid and the rest just sit there without enough evidence to say anything one way or the other. What a mess!
Anyway, getting back to your question regarding the process by which a name is accepted or rejected, it basically falls onto the author(s) of the species description. Do a thorough job, evaluate multiple data types, go through peer review and there should be few problems. Skip any one of these steps, or all of them in the case of Wells and Wellington, and there's a good chance the broader scientific community won't be convinced.
I hope this helps.

geckodan
11-11-2007, 07:28 PM
What really confuses me however is that O'Shea's critique of Oedura attenboroughi is even less convincing as if he had ever even seen an "attenboroughi" he would clearly recognise that is it more allied to a monilis than it could ever be construed as allied to a marmorata. What then makes him "right" in his critique if his critique is so misguided.
The milli/husbandi thing has since been proven at a chromosomal level. Why then is it not accepted in retrospect or does Wells have to bring this back up as an issue first??

I would like to go ahead myself and describe what I believe to be a new species of Strophurus. Who must I approach and how is this best carried out.

geckodan
11-11-2007, 08:02 PM
Heres a pic of the offending "species"
http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m94/geckodanweb/attenboroughi.jpg

Mikhail F. Bagaturov
11-12-2007, 11:45 AM
Hello!

Let me try to describe how all this works.
First, there is an ICZN is existed - simply can be described, "the rules for a names" and each issue is valid for the further period investigations (do not have "back force").
Second, there is a rule - if the study fully correspoinded to ICZN formal rules and published in the registered scientific journals listed as is, the study consider published and the changes is valid.
It is a long talk about the neccesserity of the per-review of the papers.
We possess they should be always per-reviewed but some "researchers" thisk that they have rights over any other scientists.
As for my opinion on the changes based _only_ on NDA analisez without any other study relation of other chearacters - it's bad, but I believe with si=ome further time they'll changes back or any other way.
For me the CH. angulifer has not any case related to "Ch. turneri". This is a typical scientific nonsence. We have now different evidences on this in different other animal groups...
All the above is just my personal opinion based on the semi-professional interest in animal systematic useing my lawyer's brain :)

geckodan
11-12-2007, 04:06 PM
Thanks Tony and Mikhail.

Jan Grathwohl
11-22-2007, 09:02 AM
Hi Dan


The milli/husbandi thing has since been proven at a chromosomal level. Why then is it not accepted in retrospect or does Wells have to bring this back up as an issue first??

Were have this chromosomal study been published? It is only of relevance, if its accesible to critique and view of others. I have not seen this study in any peer-reviewed journal?

It seems that Wells, is a bit like Raymond Hoser (another heavily critiqued Australian amateur-scientist) in publishing data in publications, not widely available to the public, and based on data, which probably is pure imagination, or not possible for others to double-check. If you want the species to be accepted as different, then you have to make it possible for others to double-check and come to the same conclusions. If this is not possible - how can you then prove that the new species is valid?

I could e.g. print a paper, based on a photo af an australian gecko, and claim it to be different for otherr species, and call it Strophurus grathwohliensis - but it would probably not being taken seriously, unless i could provide a type-species and serie of paratypes, for others to check - and i would also have to provide data showing preciesly why i found it different from closely related species, taking into account the variation that might occur within a population.


I would like to go ahead myself and describe what I believe to be a new species of Strophurus. Who must I approach and how is this best carried out.

If you want to describe a species of Strophurus that you find different from other species, you would have to do morphological (and preferably DNA comparisons) between the new taxon, and all closely related species. If you find it to be possible to differentiate with certainity from the other already described species, you have a good case. Then you should garther all these data in a paper, making it clear for reviewers and readers to tell the difference by themselves - and send the manuscript to a Peer-reviewed journal (e.g. Journal of Herpetology, Herpetologica, Amphibia-Reptilia). It will then be throughout read by reviewers and anonymous reviewers, to make as much critique as possible on the paper, before publication, to make it certain, that the description is sound and worked through. If this goes throught, the paper will be published, and future scientist then have to prove if they find you wrong.

This would be the right way to do it :)

geckodan
11-22-2007, 10:40 PM
Hi Dan




If you want to describe a species of Strophurus that you find different from other species, you would have to do morphological (and preferably DNA comparisons) between the new taxon, and all closely related species. If you find it to be possible to differentiate with certainity from the other already described species, you have a good case. Then you should garther all these data in a paper, making it clear for reviewers and readers to tell the difference by themselves - and send the manuscript to a Peer-reviewed journal (e.g. Journal of Herpetology, Herpetologica, Amphibia-Reptilia). It will then be throughout read by reviewers and anonymous reviewers, to make as much critique as possible on the paper, before publication, to make it certain, that the description is sound and worked through. If this goes throught, the paper will be published, and future scientist then have to prove if they find you wrong.

This would be the right way to do it :)

I will try and track down the chromosomal article.
My big problem with regrads to providing types is that whilst I have the academic right to describe (I have an honours degree in Zoology) , I do not possess the legal right (due to legislation in our state) to collect and preserve a type specimen. Collecting that specimen would actually be breaking the law. Our local museum could be approached but are notorious for poaching academic information and presenting it as their own - quite frankly I do not trust them not to do it again. I am looking for a loophole to allow a type specimen to be collected and lodged.

Mikhail F. Bagaturov
11-23-2007, 08:50 AM
Hi!

If I remember correct according the ICZN (last edition) You don't need to be even a biologist and the degree in science doesn't matter the paper.
As for the material it is also of no value where it is deposited even in the private collection that just must be incuded the depository place in the paper.
It is also no current rules how the description should be made. You kust need to conduct the "golden rules" of ISZN. DNA analysis is not a necessery to be provided and still morphological data is far enough.
As for the legalize the material You study on You may negotiate with the museum. It is also a valid to study materials for the reference and to find clear data (is preffered if you wish to named as the scientist) in other museums around the globe which had the collection of the specimens You need to study etc...