Editorial: Taxonomic papers published in EJE

1. Authors must follow all requirements of the current International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. The recommendations of the Code should also normally be followed. If an author wants to circumvent any recommendation, convincing reasons should be stated.

2. Two particular recommendations (73A and 16C) should be observed in this journal: A holotype should be always designated for each newly described species-level taxon and at least holotypes should be deposited in public collections that provide long-term care and access for study (note that such deposition is mandatory for neotypes). If possible, use the collection abbreviations available at http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/codens/codens-inst.html.

3. All new taxonomic acts (new taxa, new synonyms, new combinations, etc.) must be listed in full in the Abstract. The list of synonymized names must indicate their disposition (i.e., with what other name they have been synonymized). Original references should be always included for all newly synonymized or combined names. Use “sp. n.”, “gen. n.” etc. for newly described taxa.

4. The standard order of sections within a species treatment is: Diagnosis, Description, Material, Type locality, Etymology, Distribution, Biology, and other comments if appropriate.

5. Good illustrations are essential unless the paper solves purely nomenclatoric problems. All morphological illustrations, if not schematic, should be provided with scale bars. We encourage particularly authors dealing with poorly known, rare or exotic taxa to provide as complete illustrations as possible, including habitus drawings or photographs of selected representatives of the taxon under study.

6. Taxonomic papers should not be narrowly limited geographically, particularly if the limits are artificial political borders (which is undesirable). Authors should consider at least the complete regional fauna of the genus or subgenus under study. A more comprehensive geographic scope is required for taxa with broader distributions or with close relatives in other zoogeographic regions. It is the author's responsibility to know the group, both material and literature, well enough (preferably on a worldwide basis) to be able to ensure that all relevant taxa were taken into account and that any new taxa proposed have not already been described from elsewhere.

7. In the long run the phylogenetic approach to classification is the only valid one. (N.B. Phylogenetic analyses provide cladograms or phylograms, not classifications. Classification is arbitrary to a considerable extent, i.e., authors may differ in their opinions on translating a given phylogenetic tree into a practical classificatory system.) The taxonomic status of many groups does not allow such an approach without large revisionary studies which may be at the moment impossible for a given author. Therefore we will not insist on phylogenetic interpretations of the taxa concerned and we will accept papers that provide significant classificatory advancements. However, taxonomic papers contributing at the same time to understanding of comparative morphology and phylogeny of the group under study will be preferred over alpha-taxonomic manuscripts.

8. The classificatory work should be done to a high standard. New species should not be described when the low-rank (generic, subgeneric, tribal) classification is in chaos unless the author tries to improve the situation so that species can be identified. Often the author just states that the new species is closest to species X, differing in some minute details, but the reader remains uncertain how to recognize X. This approach is acceptable only if the taxon has been recently revised with full identification keys; if so, the revision should be clearly referred to and the new species inserted in keys (comparative tables, etc.) published therein. Otherwise the author should define the relevant supraspecific group (genus or subgenus if not too large), or redefine it if the newly described taxa require that, and should provide a clear identification tool for its species. Again, that identification tool should not be narrowly limited geographically.

9. The range of variation is an important species attribute, and authors should properly understand the role of type material. Name-bearing type specimens serve to fix the application of names, not to determine what species should look like. We can characterize species entirely without reference to types, but then we need types in order to attach names to these species. The type specimens, however, may be entirely non-typical and lying on the margin of the range of variation. It is therefore usually unnecessary to redescribe type material. Taxonomists solving a particular problem should see the type specimens, and all others need descriptions of species and their variation range, not just of the type specimens (whose peculiarities should be of course mentioned).

10. Characterization of a taxon does not consist exclusively of its morphology. Other characteristics, such as distribution, bionomics, behaviour, or molecular and genetic traits, may be very important and inclusion of such data is encouraged.