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Two new species of Limbodessus diving beetles from New Guinea - short verbal descriptions flanked by online content (digital photography, μCT scans, drawings and DNA sequence data)

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      Abstract

      AbstractBackgroundTo date only one species of Limbodessus diving beetles has been reported from the Island of New Guinea, L. compactus (Clark, 1862), which is widerspread in the Australian region.New informationWe describe two new species of microendemic New Guinea Limbodessus and use a compact descriptive format flanked by enriched online content in wiki powered species pages. Limbodessus baliem sp.n. is described from ca. 1,600 m altitude in the Baliem Valley of Papua and Limbodessus alexanderi sp.n. from >3,000 m altitude north of Sugapa, Papua.Based on our analysis, we also transfer three species from other genera to Limbodessus Guignot, 1939, with the following changes: Limbodessus deflectus (Ordish, 1966), new combination; Limbodessus leveri (J. Balfour-Browne, 1944), new combination; and Limbodessus plicatus (Sharp, 1882), new combination.

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      DNA barcoding and taxonomy in Diptera: a tale of high intraspecific variability and low identification success.

      DNA barcoding and DNA taxonomy have recently been proposed as solutions to the crisis of taxonomy and received significant attention from scientific journals, grant agencies, natural history museums, and mainstream media. Here, we test two key claims of molecular taxonomy using 1333 mitochondrial COI sequences for 449 species of Diptera. We investigate whether sequences can be used for species identification ("DNA barcoding") and find a relatively low success rate (< 70%) based on tree-based and newly proposed species identification criteria. Misidentifications are due to wide overlap between intra- and interspecific genetic variability, which causes 6.5% of all query sequences to have allospecific or a mixture of allo- and conspecific (3.6%) best-matching barcodes. Even when two COI sequences are identical, there is a 6% chance that they belong to different species. We also find that 21% of all species lack unique barcodes when consensus sequences of all conspecific sequences are used. Lastly, we test whether DNA sequences yield an unambiguous species-level taxonomy when sequence profiles are assembled based on pairwise distance thresholds. We find many sequence triplets for which two of the three pairwise distances remain below the threshold, whereas the third exceeds it; i.e., it is impossible to consistently delimit species based on pairwise distances. Furthermore, for species profiles based on a 3% threshold, only 47% of all profiles are consistent with currently accepted species limits, 20% contain more than one species, and 33% only some sequences from one species; i.e., adopting such a DNA taxonomy would require the redescription of a large proportion of the known species, thus worsening the taxonomic impediment. We conclude with an outlook on the prospects of obtaining complete barcode databases and the future use of DNA sequences in a modern integrative taxonomy.
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        Embedding 3D models of biological specimens in PDF publications.

        By providing two examples, the option for embedding 3D models in electronic versions of life science publications is presented. These examples, presumably representing the first such models published, are developmental stages of an evertebrate (Patella caerulea, Mollusca) and a vertebrate species (Psetta maxima, Teleostei) obtained from histological section series reconstruction processed with the software package Amira. These surface rendering models are particularly suitable for a PDF file because they can easily be transformed to a file format required and components may be conveniently combined and hierarchically arranged. All methodological steps starting from specimen preparation until embedding of resulting models in PDF files with emphasis on conversion of Amira data to the appropriate 3D file format are explained. Usability of 3D models in PDF documents is exemplified and advantages over 2D illustrations are discussed, including better explanation capabilities for spatial arrangements, higher information contents, and limiting options for disguising results by authors. Possibilities for additional applications reaching far beyond the examples presented are suggested. Problems such as long-term compatibility of file format and hardware plus software, editing and embedding of files, file size and differences in information contents between printed and electronic version will likely be overcome by technical development and increasing tendency toward electronic at the cost of printed publications. Since 3D visualization plays an increasing role in manifold disciplines of science and appropriate tools for the popular PDF format are readily available, we propose routine application of this way of illustration in electronic life science papers.
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          Integrative taxonomy on the fast track - towards more sustainability in biodiversity research

          Background A so called “taxonomic impediment” has been recognized as a major obstacle to biodiversity research for the past two decades. Numerous remedies were then proposed. However, neither significant progress in terms of formal species descriptions, nor a minimum standard for descriptions have been achieved so far. Here, we analyze the problems of traditional taxonomy which often produces keys and descriptions of limited practical value. We suggest that phylogenetics and phenetics had a subtle and so far unnoticed effect on taxonomy leading to inflated species descriptions. Discussion The term “turbo-taxonomy” was recently coined for an approach combining cox1 sequences, concise morphological descriptions by an expert taxonomist, and high-resolution digital imaging to streamline the formal description of larger numbers of new species. We propose a further development of this approach which, together with open access web-publication and automated pushing of content from journal into a wiki, may create the most efficient and sustainable way to conduct taxonomy in the future. On demand, highly concise descriptions can be gradually updated or modified in the fully versioned wiki-framework we use. This means that the visibility of additional data is not compromised, while the original species description -the first version- remains preserved in the wiki, and of course in the journal version. A DNA sequence database with an identification engine replaces an identification key, helps to avoid synonyms and has the potential to detect grossly incorrect generic placements. We demonstrate the functionality of a species-description pipeline by naming 101 new species of hyperdiverse New Guinea Trigonopterus weevils in the open-access journal ZooKeys. Summary Fast track taxonomy will not only increase speed, but also sustainability of global species inventories. It will be of great practical value to all the other disciplines that depend on a usable taxonomy and will change our perception of global biodiversity. While this approach is certainly not suitable for all taxa alike, it is the tool that will help to tackle many hyperdiverse groups and pave the road for more sustainable comparative studies, e.g. in community ecology, phylogeography and large scale biogeographic studies.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            []Zoologische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany
            [§ ]Department of Biology, Universitas Cendrawasih, Jayapura, Indonesia
            Author notes
            Corresponding author: Michael Balke ( coleoptera-zsm@ 123456zsm.mwn.de ).

            Academic editor: Miguel Alonso-Zarazaga

            Contributors
            Journal
            Biodivers Data J
            Biodivers Data J
            Biodiversity Data Journal
            Biodiversity Data Journal
            Biodiversity Data Journal
            Pensoft Publishers
            1314-2836
            1314-2828
            2015
            22 December 2015
            : 3
            4700388
            Biodiversity Data Journal
            10.3897/BDJ.3.e7096
            4024
            Michael Balke, Bernhard Ruthensteiner, Evie Lilly Warikar, Katja Neven, Lars Hendrich

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Counts
            Figures: 43, Tables: 0, References: 28
            Funding
            Funded by: DFG BA2152/11-1..
            Categories
            Taxonomic Paper
            Hexapoda
            Coleoptera
            Adephaga
            Dytiscidae
            Insecta
            Animalia
            Invertebrata
            Arthropoda
            Taxonomy
            Systematics
            Australasia

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