Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review.

Herpetological Review, 2013, 44(1), 8–23.


Taxonomy,  the  scientific process by which natural groups are identified, described, named, and  classified is an exciting research  pursuit, not  only  because it  makes an  ndispensable contribution  to  biodiversity science but, at a more basic level, because it satisfies the human enjoyment of discovery. However, taxonomy has been an area of biological science in which errors,  ethical transgressions, and clashes of egos have been particularly vicious and public, harkening back to the earliest days of the  binomial system of nomenclature when Linnaeus (1737) named what he considered an insignificant weed (genus Siegesbeckia) after Johann Georg Siegesbeck, a contemporary and very vocal critic.

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Freitag, 02 Juni 2017 15:43

KUCHLING, G. (2010)

Taxonomy and nomenclature of the longneck turtle (genus Chelodina) from south-western Australia.

Records of the Western Australian Museum 25: 449–454
DOI 10.18195/issn.0312-3162.25(4).2010.449-454


Gray (1856) recognised Chelodina colliei from south-western Australia as a different species from Chelodina oblonga Gray, 1841 from ‘Western Australia’. In addition, Gray (1873) specifically mentioned specimens of C. oblonga from the Port Essington region of today’s Northern Territory. Boulenger (1889) synonymized C. colliei with C. oblonga, a view followed by later reviewers for over seven decades. Goode (1967) and Burbidge (1967) both reinstated Gray’s original concept that the longneck turtle of south-western Australia represents a distinct species, but erroneously applied and restricted the name C. oblonga to the south-western Australian species. Thomson (2000) detected this nomenclatural error and subsequently applied to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN case 3351, Thomson 2006) to give precedence to rugosa over oblonga whenever the two were considered to be conspecific and to place on the official lists the names colliei, oblonga and rugosa, thus leaving colliei as the only available name for the south-western Australian Chelodina. Since then, the name Chelodina colliei was again used by several authors for the south-western Australian taxon, including in books and checklists (Bonin et al. 2006; Fritz and Havaš 2007; Iverson 2007). With case 3351 still under consideration by the ICZN, McCord and Joseph-Ouni (2007) further aggravated the nomenclatural confusion regarding the south-western Australian longneck turtle by fixing a ‘neotype’ for C. oblonga and by describing the genus Macrodiremys for C. oblonga (= colliei), both actions in violation of Articles 75.6 and 82.1 of the 1999 ICZN Code.

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Freitag, 21 April 2017 08:19



Turtles of the world,  7th  edition:  annotated  checklist  of  taxonomy,  synonymy,  distribution with maps, and conservation status.

In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson,  J.B.,  and  Mittermeier,  R.A.  (Eds.).  Conservation  Biol-
ogy of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(7):000.329–479, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014

Download 7. Auflage (2014):

Download 9. Auflage (2021):


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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 06:49

PYRON, R. A. & WIENS, J. J. (2011)

A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of advanced frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61: 543–583.

Volltext (Link)


The extant amphibians are one of the most diverse radiations of terrestrial vertebrates (>6800 species). Despite much recent focus on their conservation, diversification, and systematics, no previous phylogeny for the group has contained more than 522 species. However, numerous studies with limited taxon sampling have generated large amounts of partially overlapping sequence data for many species. Here, we combine these data and produce a novel estimate of extant amphibian phylogeny, containing 2871 species (40% of the known extant species) from 432 genera (85% of the 500 currently recognized extant genera). Each sampled species contains up to 12,712 bp from 12 genes (three mitochondrial, nine nuclear), with an average of 2563 bp per species. This data set provides strong support for many groups recognized in previous studies, but it also suggests non-monophyly for several currently recognized families, particularly in hyloid frogs (e.g., Ceratophryidae, Cycloramphidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae). To correct these and other problems, we provide a revised classification of extant amphibians for taxa traditionally delimited at the family and subfamily levels. This new taxonomy includes several families not recognized in current classifications (e.g., Alsodidae, Batrachylidae, Rhinodermatidae, Odontophrynidae, Telmatobiidae), but which are strongly supported and important for avoiding non-monophyly of current families. Finally, this study provides further evidence that the supermatrix approach provides an effective strategy for inferring large-scale phylogenies using the combined results of previous studies, despite many taxa having extensive missing data.



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The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World.

6. Auflage. 855 Seiten. Cornell University Press. ISBN: 0-8014-4501-9.

Zum Buch:

The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th Edition was published and released by Cornell University Press in June 2007. The book was produced from a nearly completed manuscript left by James Clements upon his death in 2005.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has accepted the job of maintaining the ever-changing list of species, subspecies, English names, and approximate distributions, beginning with publication of the 6th Edition. Our procedures for accomplishing this ongoing task include using the considerable expertise of our research ornithologists on staff, aided enormously by input from knowledgeable professional and amateur cooperators worldwide. We invite input on known or suspected errors or updates at any time.

This website serves as the clearinghouse for keeping your Clements Checklist up to date. We will post all corrections once a year in August. At the same time, we’ll post updates to the taxonomy, scientific and English nomenclature, and range descriptions, to incorporate changes that have made their way into the literature and are generally accepted by the appropriate scientific body or community. In the future, we will also be posting a list of alternative English names.

Zu den Online-Checklisten:


The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world.

v2015. Downloaded from

Three checklists are available. The first is 2015 edition of the Clements Checklist (Clements Checklist v2015); the second is the 2015 edition of the eBird taxonomy (eBird v2015); and the third is the “master” or integrated checklist, which includes all entries in both the Clements Checklist and the eBird taxonomy.

Clements Checklists v2015 (3.9 MB Excel spreadsheet or 5.3 MB CSV file) Includes species, groups, and subspecies, with brief range descriptions.

eBird Taxonomy v2015 (1.1 MB Excel spreadsheet and 2.01 MB CSV file). Includes all categories that are reportable in eBird (including all taxa except subspecies from eBird/Clements Checklist) and is formatted with additional fields from eBird. See more on the eBird taxonomy here.

eBird/Clements Checklist v2015 (3.8 MB Excel spreadsheet or 5.4 MB CSV file) Combines all taxa from the Clements Checklist and all additional categories from the eBird taxonomy, with brief range descriptions for all taxa.


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On the nomenclature of Bathyergidae and Fukomys n.g. (Mammalia: Rodentia).

Zootaxa 1142: 51-55.


Recently, in an examination of the phylogenetic relationships among the mole-rats of the family Bathyergidae (Mammalia: Rodentia), Ingram
et al. (2004) documented molecular evidence for the recognition of the Cryptomys mechowii  species group at the generic level and resurrected the name Coetomys  Gray, 1864 for this group. Subsequent literature review revealed that Coetomys is notavailable to this species group, being a junior synonym of Cryptomys Gray, 1864. Here, we describe and diagnose Fukomys genus novum. In addition, we discuss the taxonomic history of this group inan attempt to reduce the nomenclatural confusion that has plagued studies of the Bathyergidae forover a century.


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Mammal Species of the World - A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. 

694 Seiten. 4170 Arten.
1st edition. Allen Press & Association of Systematic Collections. ISBN-0-89327-235-3.


A taxonomic list of all recent species of mammals. Includes citation to the original description of each species, type locality and geographic distribution, plus comments concerning current usage, discussions of controversies, etc.

Anmerkung: Dies war die erste Standardreferenz für Säugetiere im Rahmen von CITES. Die zweite Auflage wurde 1993, die dritte  2005 jeweils von WILSON, D. E. & REEDER, D. M. herausgegeben.

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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 08:01

GROVES, C.P. & GRUBB, P. (2011)

Ungulate Taxonomy.

336 Seiten.
John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. ISBN-13 978-1-4214-0093-8 und ISBN-10 1-4214-0093-6.


A group of special interest to mammalogists, taxonomists, and systemicists, ungulates have proven difficult to classify. This comprehensive review of the taxonomic relationships of artiodactyls and perissodactyls brings forth new evidence in order to propose a theory of ungulate taxonomy.

With this straightforward volume, Colin Groves and the late Peter Grubb cut through previous assumptions to define ungulate genera, species, and subspecies. The species-by-species accounts incorporate new molecular, cytogenetic, and morphological data, as well as the authors’ own observations and measurements. The authors include references and supporting arguments for new classifications.

A starting point for further research, this book is sure to be discussed and hotly debated in the mammalogical community. A well-reasoned synthesis, Ungulate Taxonomy will be a defining volume for years to come.

Ungulate Taxonomy - A new perspective from Groves and Grubb (2011)

Taxonomy (the study of classification) is a constantly-evolving field. Every year, changes to the "standard" list of ungulates (covering approximately 250 species) are proposed as new physical and genetic evidence becomes available: renaming subspecies as distinct species, separating (or uniting) genera, or naming species new to science. Most taxonomic changes are rather restricted in scale (usually reorganizing a species or genus). Rarely, however, entire orders are reviewed and revised: the ENTIRE scope of hoofed mammals receives such a treatment in Ungulate Taxonomy (Groves and Grubb, 2011).

Ungulate Taxonomy turns the classification of hoofed mammals on its head. Whereas traditional species lists rely on the Biological Species Concept (which differentiates species on the basis of "reproductive isolation", the lack of interbreeding in nature), Groves and Grubb have applied the Phylogenetic Species Concept (which separates species on the basis of "fixed heritable differences": measureable characters that are consistently different between taxa). This change in approach has had major implication on the number of species: Groves and Grubb recognize over 450 distinct ungulates. Simultaneously, however, the recognition of subspecies has sharply declined: under the Phylogenetic Species Concept, populations that can be differentiated are listed as separate species; those which cannot be are grouped as a single taxon.

The new approach to ungulate classification is presented below alongside the traditional species list (note that species fact sheets are accessible from the Ungulates of the World page). Such a radical departure from tradition often encounters great resistance, but the application of the Phylogenetic Species Concept to ungulate taxa is not brand-new: it is generally well-accepted for taxa like babirusas, chevrotains, and musk deer.

Siehe dazu: U. SCHÜRER (2012) Neue Huftier-Taxonomie verursacht Probleme.


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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 14:23

WILSON, D. E. & REEDER, D. M. (2005)

Mammal Species of the World - A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference.

3. Auflage. Johns Hopkins University Press. 2'142 Seiten. ISBN-0801882214.


This is a database of mammalian taxonomy, based upon the 2005 book Mammal Species of the World. Although the database will be updated in the future (edited by DeeAnn M. Reeder and Kristofer M. Helgen), it is not, and will not be continuously updated.

It is hoped that this database on the World Wide Web can be used as a convenient on-line reference for identifying or verifying recognized scientific names and for taxonomic research. The names are organized in a hierarchy that includes Order, Suborder, Family, Subfamily, Genus, Species and Subspecies. Records include the following fields:

  •     Scientific name
  •     Author's name and year described
  •     Original publication citation
  •     Common name
  •     Type Species
  •     Type Locality
  •     Distribution
  •     Comments
  •     Status
  •     Synonyms

This third edition is enhanced by the identification of subspecies, and by the inclusion of authority information for all synonyms. Further information about the book and about the contents of each field can be found in the preface and introductory material.



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Mittwoch, 06 März 2013 13:30

BOHLKEN, H. (1958)

Zur Nomenklatur der Haustiere.

Zoologischer Anzeiger 160 (1958) 167–168.


Ursprünglich wurden Haustierform als Arten angesehen und z.B. von Carl von LINNÉ entsprechend bezeichnet, z.B.

  • Hauskatze: Felis catus
  • Haushund: Canis familiaris
  • Hausrind: Bos taurus

Später wurden die Haustierformen wie Unterarten der gesicherten oder mutmaßlichen Wildform behandelt, da Haustier- und Wildform im Prinzip Fortpflanzungsgemeinschaften bilden, d.h. nach biologischen Kriterien derselben Art angehören:

  • Hauskatze: Felis silvestris catus
  • Haushund: Canis lupus familiaris
  • Hausrind: Bos primigenius taurus

BOHLKEN schlug vor, dass grundsätzlich der Name der Wildform Vorrang vor dem Namen der Haustierform haben soll, was dann der Prioritätsregel widerspricht, wenn das Haustier vor dem Wildtier beschrieben wurde. Der Name der Wildtierform follte im Falle von Haustieren durch "forma [Haustiername]" (oder "forma domestica") ergänzt werden, also:

  • Hauskatze: Felis silvestris forma catus
  • Haushund: Canis lupus forma familiaris
  • Hausrind: Bos primigenius forma taurus

Dieses an sich praktische Vorgehen bietet Probleme, wenn die Wildform nicht oder nicht sicher bekannt ist, wie z.B. beim Dromedar, wenn die Haustierform nicht monophyletisch ist, d.h. Vorfahren hat, die nach der gerade aktuellen Systematik als verschiedenen Arten angesehen werden (Sus scrofa, Sus vittatus), oder wenn sie nicht von der Nominatform abstammt und diese im Zuge der Aufsplitterung von Arten plötzlich verselbständigt wird (Felis silvestris libyca).


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