Terrorist tactics in taxonomy
Flora Malesiana Bulletin , Volume 39 - Issue 9/3 p. 311- 312
Under the catching title given above G.B. MONTEITH, Queensland Museum, has written an editorial in the Austr. Entom. Soc. News Bull. 21 (1985) 66—69, which has been copied in the Austr. Syst. Bot. Soc. Newsletter 44 (1985) with a comment by A. KANIS (CANB). Although it mainly concerns Australian herpetologists, many readers of the Flora Malesiana Bulletin will not have these journals available, so a short summary of its contents seemed to be in place, to give the situation a broader audience. Two Australians, who we will not honour to name, nor call scientists, have published two large, privately-owned, unrefereed papers in 1984 and 1985, purporting to revise the entire Australian herpetological fauna. They have added no less than 470 new or revived species and 107 genera to what previously was generally accepted. Apparently nearly all names must be considered as effectively and validly published and hence legitimate under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Most names have been introduced without diagnoses; many are erected on information in other people’s work. In the second ’work’ lectotypes for a number of names have been indicated. It also has a chapter on references, with no less than 500 papers by the authors themselves, listed by titles and page numbers, some approaching 100 pages, published in a certain journal. Reference is also made to a 10 volume work ’The Herpetology of Australia’ written by them and said to be in press. The remarkable thing is that no one has ever seen any of these papers, nor is the journal known, nor is anyone aware of the ’Herpetology’. Both publications effusely acknowledge the assistance of other Australian herpetologists, rather to their chagrin! Species have been named after nearly everybody in sight, a genus even after the villain of the movie series ’Star Wars’, Darth Vader!
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Veldkamp, J.F. (1986). Terrorist tactics in taxonomy. Flora Malesiana Bulletin, 39(9/3), 311–312.