|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication:||2008|
|Journal:||Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature|
|Type of Article:||Comment|
|Full Text|| |
Jones (BZN 65: 47–49) found additional publications mentioning the junior names Microcerotermes serratus (Froggatt, 1898) or Microcerotermes serrula(Desneux, 1904). For M. serratus (Froggatt), these records bring the number of such citations over 10, by more than 5 different authors, in the period 1950–1999. Jones argues that for these reasons, the criteria of Article 79(c) of the 3rd edition of the Code, current at the time we submitted our paper (Roisin & Pasteels, 2000), were met. We considered that the criteria of Article 79(c) were mere guidelines to evaluate what constituted a threat to stability, but by no means strict decisional rules. We did not carry out a comprehensive survey of the literature to find out whether the total number of publications citing M. serratus(Froggatt) during the past 50 years was just below or just above 10. We determined that the number and current flow of such publications was very low, and that several of them did not carry any primary information but were only brief citations of earlier work (e.g. Grassé (1982) just cited Gay (1952); a single observation of damage to railway sleepers resulted in three citations: Perry et al. (1985), Watson & Gay (1991) and Barnacle et al. (1992). The only data about M. serratus (Froggatt) that appear plentiful are distributional records (Watson & Abbey, 1993). However, the status of colonies or populations identified as M. serratus (Froggatt) has long been uncertain: Watson & Abbey (1993, p. 5) acknowledged that ‘extensive work on further series will be needed before the complexities of, e.g. M. distinctus and M. serratus can be unravelled’. In a similar way, Perry et al. (1985, p. 75) wrote ‘M. serratus is a very variable species (Hill, 1942), and may constitute a species-complex; its occurrence in the extreme south-west is open to doubt’. In addition, the lectotype of Termes serratusFroggatt has been lost (Watson et al., 1998, p. 232). Thus there is already some confusion as to the identity of M. serratus (Froggatt) itself, and it is likely that a future revision of Australian Microcerotermes would, in any case, imply the reassignment of some of the data presently attributed to this species.
Gressitt, J.L. 1982. Zoogeographical summary. Pp. 897–918 in Gressitt, J.L. (Ed.), Biogeography and Ecology of New Guinea, vol. 2. Dr W. Junk Publishers, The Hague.
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Home » Comments on the proposed conservation of Termes serratus Froggatt, 1898 and Termes serrula Desneux, 1904 (Insecta, Isoptera, TERMITINAE) 2 (Case 3385)
Comments on the proposed conservation of Termes serratus Froggatt, 1898 and Termes serrula Desneux, 1904 (Insecta, Isoptera, TERMITINAE) 2 (Case 3385)