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Classification of weevils as a data-driven science: leaving opinion behind.

Jordal BH, Smith SM, Cognato AI - Zookeys (2014)

Bottom Line: This paper discusses a recent proposed reclassification of weevils that elevates bark and ambrosia beetles (Scolytinae and Platypodinae) to the ranks of Family.We demonstrate that the proposed reclassification 1) is not supported by an evolutionary systematic justification because the apparently unique morphology of bark and ambrosia beetles is shared with other unrelated wood-boring weevil taxa; 2) introduces obvious paraphyly in weevil classification and hence violates good practices on maintaining an economy of taxonomic change; 3) is not supported by other taxonomic naming criteria, such as time banding.We recommend the abandonment of traditional practices of an opinion-based taxonomy, especially in light of available data and resulting phylogenies.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Bergen, University Museum of Bergen, PB 7800, NO-5020 Bergen, Norway.

ABSTRACT
Data and explicit taxonomic ranking criteria, which minimize taxonomic change, provide a scientific approach to modern taxonomy and classification. However, traditional practices of opinion-based taxonomy (i.e., mid-20(th) century evolutionary systematics), which lack explicit ranking and naming criteria, are still in practice despite phylogenetic evidence. This paper discusses a recent proposed reclassification of weevils that elevates bark and ambrosia beetles (Scolytinae and Platypodinae) to the ranks of Family. We demonstrate that the proposed reclassification 1) is not supported by an evolutionary systematic justification because the apparently unique morphology of bark and ambrosia beetles is shared with other unrelated wood-boring weevil taxa; 2) introduces obvious paraphyly in weevil classification and hence violates good practices on maintaining an economy of taxonomic change; 3) is not supported by other taxonomic naming criteria, such as time banding. We recommend the abandonment of traditional practices of an opinion-based taxonomy, especially in light of available data and resulting phylogenies.

No MeSH data available.


Mitochondrial genome phylogeny redrawn from Gillett et al. (2014), with various families and subfamilies marked in different colours. Node support values are posterior probabilities >0.70.
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Figure 2: Mitochondrial genome phylogeny redrawn from Gillett et al. (2014), with various families and subfamilies marked in different colours. Node support values are posterior probabilities >0.70.

Mentions: Platypodinae may also belong to a similarly defined Curculionidae, but the long phylogenetic branches that characterise Platypodinae make placement of this subfamily less certain. In several purely molecular phylogenetic studies, they tend to group with Dryophthorinae, but still well inside a more broadly defined Curculionidae (sensuOberprieler et al. 2007) that includes Brachycerinae and Dryophthorinae (Fig. 2). The family status of Platypodinae has been suggested (e.g. Thompson 1992) and is an issue that potentially interferes less with an economical approach to taxon name changes although the assessment of platypodines is premature given the absence of robust phylogenetic data. Our concerns are therefore mainly with the status of Scolytinae.


Classification of weevils as a data-driven science: leaving opinion behind.

Jordal BH, Smith SM, Cognato AI - Zookeys (2014)

Mitochondrial genome phylogeny redrawn from Gillett et al. (2014), with various families and subfamilies marked in different colours. Node support values are posterior probabilities >0.70.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons-attribution
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4196253&req=5

Figure 2: Mitochondrial genome phylogeny redrawn from Gillett et al. (2014), with various families and subfamilies marked in different colours. Node support values are posterior probabilities >0.70.
Mentions: Platypodinae may also belong to a similarly defined Curculionidae, but the long phylogenetic branches that characterise Platypodinae make placement of this subfamily less certain. In several purely molecular phylogenetic studies, they tend to group with Dryophthorinae, but still well inside a more broadly defined Curculionidae (sensuOberprieler et al. 2007) that includes Brachycerinae and Dryophthorinae (Fig. 2). The family status of Platypodinae has been suggested (e.g. Thompson 1992) and is an issue that potentially interferes less with an economical approach to taxon name changes although the assessment of platypodines is premature given the absence of robust phylogenetic data. Our concerns are therefore mainly with the status of Scolytinae.

Bottom Line: This paper discusses a recent proposed reclassification of weevils that elevates bark and ambrosia beetles (Scolytinae and Platypodinae) to the ranks of Family.We demonstrate that the proposed reclassification 1) is not supported by an evolutionary systematic justification because the apparently unique morphology of bark and ambrosia beetles is shared with other unrelated wood-boring weevil taxa; 2) introduces obvious paraphyly in weevil classification and hence violates good practices on maintaining an economy of taxonomic change; 3) is not supported by other taxonomic naming criteria, such as time banding.We recommend the abandonment of traditional practices of an opinion-based taxonomy, especially in light of available data and resulting phylogenies.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Bergen, University Museum of Bergen, PB 7800, NO-5020 Bergen, Norway.

ABSTRACT
Data and explicit taxonomic ranking criteria, which minimize taxonomic change, provide a scientific approach to modern taxonomy and classification. However, traditional practices of opinion-based taxonomy (i.e., mid-20(th) century evolutionary systematics), which lack explicit ranking and naming criteria, are still in practice despite phylogenetic evidence. This paper discusses a recent proposed reclassification of weevils that elevates bark and ambrosia beetles (Scolytinae and Platypodinae) to the ranks of Family. We demonstrate that the proposed reclassification 1) is not supported by an evolutionary systematic justification because the apparently unique morphology of bark and ambrosia beetles is shared with other unrelated wood-boring weevil taxa; 2) introduces obvious paraphyly in weevil classification and hence violates good practices on maintaining an economy of taxonomic change; 3) is not supported by other taxonomic naming criteria, such as time banding. We recommend the abandonment of traditional practices of an opinion-based taxonomy, especially in light of available data and resulting phylogenies.

No MeSH data available.