Skip to main content

Photography-based taxonomy is inadequate, unnecessary, and potentially harmful for biological sciences

Böhme, Wolfgang; Bogdanowicz, Wieslaw; Bockmann, Flávio A.; Boano, Giovanni; Blick, Theo; Birindelli, José; Biondo, Cibele; Bharti, Daizy; Berning, Björn; Bentlage, Bastian; Bennett, Daniel J.; Benine, Ricardo C.; Bauer, Franziska; Bauer, Aaron M.; Bates, Michael F.; Bastos-Silveira, Cristiane; Bärmann, Eva V.; Barber-James, Helen Margaret; Baldo, Diego; Bagley, Justin C.; Azevedo, Celso; Astúa, Diego; Artois, Tom J.; Arthofer, Wolfgang; Arroyave, Jairo; Arnaud, Henrard; Araujo, Paula Beatriz; Aquino, Pedro P.U.; Andreone, Franco; De Andrade, Marco Brandalise; Andrade, Marcelo C.; Ananjeva, Natalia; Do Amaral, Fabio Raposo; Alves, Maria Judite; Aleixo, Alexandre; Ahrens, Dirk; Aguiar, Jonas José Mendes; Aguiar, Antonio J.C.; Agosti, Donat; Agatha, Sabine; Agarwal, Ishan; Aescht, Erna; Adriano, Edson A.; Adler, Kraig; Alqarni, Abdulaziz S.; Abdala, Cristian Simón; Gutiérrez, Eliécer E.; Ceríaco, Luis M.P.; Ceriaco, Luis M. P.; Gutierrez, Eliecer E.; Dubois, Alain


Wolfgang Böhme

Wieslaw Bogdanowicz

Flávio A. Bockmann

Giovanni Boano

Theo Blick

José Birindelli

Cibele Biondo

Daizy Bharti

Björn Berning

Bastian Bentlage

Daniel J. Bennett

Ricardo C. Benine

Franziska Bauer

Aaron M. Bauer

Michael F. Bates

Cristiane Bastos-Silveira

Eva V. Bärmann

Helen Margaret Barber-James

Diego Baldo

Justin C. Bagley

Celso Azevedo

Diego Astúa

Tom J. Artois

Wolfgang Arthofer

Jairo Arroyave

Henrard Arnaud

Paula Beatriz Araujo

Pedro P.U. Aquino

Franco Andreone

Marco Brandalise De Andrade

Marcelo C. Andrade

Natalia Ananjeva

Fabio Raposo Do Amaral

Maria Judite Alves

Alexandre Aleixo

Dirk Ahrens

Jonas José Mendes Aguiar

Antonio J.C. Aguiar

Donat Agosti

Sabine Agatha

Ishan Agarwal

Erna Aescht

Edson A. Adriano

Kraig Adler

Abdulaziz S. Alqarni

Cristian Simón Abdala

Eliécer E. Gutiérrez

Luis M.P. Ceríaco

Luis M. P. Ceriaco

Eliecer E. Gutierrez

Alain Dubois



The question whether taxonomic descriptions naming new animal species without type specimen(s) deposited in collections should be accepted for publication by scientific journals and allowed by the Code has already been discussed in Zootaxa (Dubois & Nemésio 2007; Donegan 2008, 2009; Nemésio 2009a–b; Dubois 2009; Gentile & Snell 2009; Minelli 2009; Cianferoni & Bartolozzi 2016; Amorim et al. 2016). This question was again raised in a letter supported by 35 signatories published in the journal Nature (Pape et al. 2016) on 15 September 2016. On 25 September 2016, the following rebuttal (strictly limited to 300 words as per the editorial rules of Nature) was submitted to Nature, which on 18 October 2016 refused to publish it. As we think this problem is a very important one for zoological taxonomy, this text is published here exactly as submitted to Nature, followed by the list of the 493 taxonomists and collection-based researchers who signed it in the short time span from 20 September to 6 October 2016.

Journal Article Type Letter
Publication Date Nov 23, 2016
Journal Zootaxa
Print ISSN 1175-5334
Electronic ISSN 1175-5334
Publisher Magnolia Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4196
Issue 3
Pages 435-445
APA6 Citation Böhme, W., Bogdanowicz, W., Bockmann, F. A., Boano, G., Blick, T., Birindelli, J., …Dubois, A. (2016). Photography-based taxonomy is inadequate, unnecessary, and potentially harmful for biological sciences. Zootaxa, 4196(3), 435-445.
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License


Article (169 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License

You might also like

Downloadable Citations