Instructions for Taxonomic Descriptions
International code: Manuscripts proposing new species must conform to requirements of International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (http://www.iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp).
Taxonomic authority: With the first usage of the name of each taxonomic category, cite the taxonomic authority and year of authorship for that name. Examples are as follows: Meloidogyne incognita Kofoid and White, 1919; Globodera pallida Stone, 1973. These should be included in the Literature Cited. The first usage of a newly proposed species name should be acknowledged as in the following example: Meloidogyne incognita n. sp. Additional newly proposed taxonomic categories should be similarly acknowledged as in the following example: Heteroderidae n. fam.
The overall organization of the article is recommended as follows:
INTRODUCTION (omit heading for this section)
- Content: Provide the taxonomic context and literature background relevant to the new species. It is advisable to include some statement justifying the decision to designate a new species.
- Etymology: It is recommended that at the point of initial reference to a new species name (often the Introduction), the etymology of the name be given. Typically this can be done parenthetically or as a footnote.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
- Conditions and practices for making measurements: To the extent required for repeatability, an explanation must be given of the conditions under which the measurements were taken (specimens live, heat relaxed, fixative). Where researchers might differ in their methods for taking a measurement (e.g., pharynx length or spicule length), it is helpful to specify the approach used in this particular publication.
- Kinds of individuals represented: A holotype must be designated. Designation of an allotype (the opposite sex of the holotype) is optional. With rare exceptions, descriptions must include females/hermaphrodites and, where available, males. Including juveniles, dauers, eggs and additional stages is generally optional but may be required if they are pertinent to diagnostics (e.g., cysts, eggs or infective stages of some parasites).
- What to present about each kind: For each kind of individual, morphometrics are to be followed by a narrative description. Morphometrics are best presented in a table. Where it is necessary to use abbreviations in the table, define these abbreviations - this could be done in footnotes. What specific morphometrics and details of the description must be included will vary with the taxon and what is pertinent to diagnostics within that group. Contrary to previous JON requirements, it is preferred that the narrative be in a concise but not telegraphic style. Appropriate supporting figures should be referenced within the narrative.
- Numbers of specimens: With few exceptions (rare parasites or material from habitats of limited access), species descriptions should be based on a minimum of 10 females/hermaphrodites. Where available, males and any additional kind of individuals represented (see above) should be described from at least 10 individuals.
- Analysis of variance: The above should be presented with range, mean and a statistical measurement of variability.
- Subheadings to use under “Description”:
- Females or hermaphrodites (required)
- Males (required if present)
- Juveniles, eggs, additional stages (generally optional)
- Molecular data (optional)
- Type locality and habitat (required) - generally the type locality needs to be presented in such a way that the precise location can be identified and revisited for future study. In this regard GPS coordinates are preferable but optional. In the case of parasites, the host and host tissue must be identified if possible.
- Type designation and deposition (required) – it is required that type specimens be deposited in one or more curated, broadly accessible taxonomic collections. The number of specimens deposited at each site should be indicated, and it is helpful to include the collections??? accession numbers for the material.
- Biology and ecology (optional) – a description of distribution, ecological associations or behaviors such as dormancy stages, feeding or mating is helpful and particularly so where these features are particular to certain species. In the case of parasites, it is desirable to include information on host-parasite relationships.
- Differential diagnosis (required) – a description of how the new species is distinguished from other species must be presented. For conciseness, often the narrative can be supplemented by a table showing comparisons.
- Typically the discussion places the significance of the findings in a broader context. Generally it is appropriate to suggest hypotheses of relationships/phylogenetics.
- Illustrations of morphology (required): drawings should convey all the diagnostic features of the species in the context of the entire organism.
- Light micrographs (optional): light micrographs of key features are highly recommended as a supplement to illustrations. Through-focus video light microscopy can also provide a useful supplement to illustrations and can be referenced online.
- Scanning electron micrographs (SEM) and other imaging tools (optional): SEM and other imaging tools that contribute to species descriptions are encouraged.
REVISED September 2006 © D. McK. Bird