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Type: Article
Published: 2021-08-31
Page range: 151-159
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Is it time to describe new species without diagnoses?—A comment on Sharkey et al. (2021)

Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany
Australian Museum Research Institute, Sydney, Australia, and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia
Viale Venezia 45, Brescia, Italy
Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, UK
Paris-Lodron-University, Hellbrunner Straße 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany. Museu Nacional—Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany.
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany
niversidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiaba, Brazil
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany
Department of Zoology, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Colorado, U.S.A.
General Taxonomy species delimitation COI barcoding nomenclature rules


New methods in taxonomy and systematics can influence the overall practice of formally naming and describing biodiversity. DNA barcoding has been controversial since its emergence, but now, large scale species descriptions exclusively based on barcodes have created what can be called a ‘new quality of performance’. Its limitations are discussed from different perspectives: nomenclature, general pragmatism, and problems of DNA-based species delimitation in the light of the central aim of achieving a robust and stable nomenclature of organisms, essential for all applications of biodiversity research. This issue needs to be addressed to prevent restraining the progress of taxonomy and its ability to contribute to modern science.



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