Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 2199–2207 | Cite as

ICZN Declaration 45: a remedy for the nomenclatural and typification dilemma regarding soft-bodied meiofaunal organisms?

  • André R. S. GarraffoniEmail author
  • Alexander Kieneke
  • Małgorzata Kolicka
  • Paulo H. C. Corgosinho
  • Jefferson Prado
  • Silvio S. Nihei
  • André V. L. Freitas


Although ICZN Declaration 45 already shed some light to the issue regarding “typeless species descriptions,” we here explore the assignment of new species-group taxa in the absence of a physical type-specimen in more detail. The focus is on taxonomical studies of so-called soft-bodied meiofaunal organisms, in which a deposition of physical type specimens is frequently either not possible or even not advisable at all, because they are often lost before their formal designation as a name-bearing type. We emphasize some arguments and recommendations concerning photomicrography-based taxonomy on these delicate organisms. Furthermore, we discuss the designation of illustrations as nomenclatural types in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, a practice that is applied for some time now and without any noticeable drawbacks regarding the quality of taxonomic acts.


International Code of Zoological Nomenclature Photography-based taxonomy Name-bearing type Onymophoront type specimen 



Many thanks to Daniel Lahr and the Graduate Program in Zoology IB/USP to organize the symposium about typification methods in modern taxonomy on July 2017, which was the starting point of this text. Jacek Kisielewski is kindly acknowledged for providing photomicrographs of Chaetonotus (Hystricochaetonotus) furcatus from his private collection. Many thanks to Brett Christopher Gonzalez and Yvonne Kieneke for editing the English text and Marco Curini-Galletti and anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments.

Financial support

This work was supported by grants from Biota Program/Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP: 2014/23856-0) and Brazilian Research Council (CNPq: 478825/2013-7) for ARSG, National Science Centre in Poland (2015/17/N/NZ8/01568) for MK, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG: CRA-BPV-00547-17) for PHCC, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado (FAPESP: 2015/10788-0, 2016-50387-7) and Brazilian Research Council (CNPq: 403165/2016-4) for SSN, and Biota Program/Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP: 2011/50225-3), Brazilian Research Council (CNPq: fellowship 302585/2011-7, 303834/2015-3, 303615/2015-2), and National Science Foundation (DEB-1256742) for AVLF.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

No animal testing was performed during this study.

Sampling and field studies

All necessary permits for sampling and observational field studies have been obtained from the competent authorities by the authors.

Data availability statement

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article.

Supplementary material

12526_2019_983_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (739 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 739 kb)


  1. Aguiar JJM, Santos JC, Urso-Guimarães MV (2017) On the use of photography in science and taxonomy: how images can provide a basis for their own authentication. Bionomina 12:44–47. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amorim DS, Santos CMD, Krell FT, Dubois A, Nihei SS, Oliveira OMP, Pont AC, Song H, Verdade VK, Fachin D, Klassa B, Lamas CJE, Oliveira SS, Carvalho CJB, Mello-Patiu C, Hajdu E, Couri M, Silva VC, Capellari RS, Falaschi R, Feitosa R, Prendini L, Pombal JP Jr, Fernandez F, Rocha RM, Lattke J, Caramaschi U, Duarte M, Marques AC, Reis RE, Kurina O, Takiya DM, Tavares MDS, Silva DF, Franco FL, Cuezzo F, Paulson DR, Guenard B, Schlick-Steiner B, Arthofer W, Steiner F, Fisher BL, Johnson RA, Delsinne TD, Donoso DA, Mulieri PR, Patitucci LD, Carpenter JM, Herman L, Grimaldi D (2016) Timeless standards for species delimitation. Zootaxa 4137:121–128. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Balsamo M, Grilli P, Guidi L, d’Hondt JL (2014) Gastrotricha: biology, ecology and systematics. In: Families Dasydytidae, Dichaeturidae, Neogosseidae, Proichthydiidae, vol 24. Backhuys Publishers, LeidenGoogle Scholar
  4. Brandt A, Scholz J, Allspach A, Brenke N, Brix S, George KH, Hörnschemeyer T, Holst S, Hoppenrath M, Iwan F, Janssen A, Janssen R, Janussen D, Jeskulke K, Fiege D, Kaiser S, Kieneke A, Kihara TC, Kröncke I, Krupp F, Martha SO, Martínez Arbizu PM, Meißner K, Miljutina M, Miljutin D, Renz J, Riehl T, Saeedi H, Siegler V, Sonnewald M, Stuckas H, Veit-Köhler G (2018) 200 years of marine research at Senckenberg: selected highlights. Mar Biodivers 48:159–178. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ceríaco LMP, Gutiérrez EE, Dubois A (2016) Photography-based taxonomy is inadequate, unnecessary, and potentially harmful for biological sciences. Zootaxa 4196:435–445. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Corliss JO (1962) Taxonomic-nomenclatural practices in protozoology and the new international code of zoological nomenclature. J Protozool 9:307–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dubois A (2005) Proposed rules for the incorporation of nomina of higher-ranked zoological taxa in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. 1. Some general questions, concepts and terms of biological nomenclature. Zoosystema 27:365–426Google Scholar
  8. Dubois A (2007) Phylogeny, taxonomy and nomenclature: the problem of taxonomic categories and of nomenclatural. Zootaxa 1519:27–68. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dubois A (2017) The need for reference specimens in zoological taxonomy and nomenclature. Bionomina 12:4–38. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dubois A, Nemésio A (2007) Does nomenclatural availability of nomina of new species or subspecies require the deposition of vouchers in collections. Zootaxa 1409:1–22. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fontaneto D, Flot JF, Tang CQ (2015) Guidelines for DNA taxonomy, with a focus on the meiofauna. Mar Biodivers 45:433–451. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frizzell DL (1933) Terminology of types. Amer Midl Nat 14:637–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Garey JR (2002) The lesser-known protostome taxa: an introduction and a tribute to Robert P. Higgins. Integr Comp Biol 42:611–618. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Garraffoni ARS, Freitas AVL (2017) Photos belong in the taxonomic code. Science 355:805. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Garraffoni ARS, Melchior MP (2015) New species and new records of freshwater Heterolepidoderma (Gastrotricha: Chaetonotidae) from Brazil with an identification key to the genus. Zootaxa 4057:551–568. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Garraffoni ARS, Araújo TQ, Lourenço AP, Guidi L, Balsamo M (2017) A new genus and new species of freshwater Chaetonotidae (Gastrotricha: Chaetonotida) from Brazil with phylogenetic position inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences. Syst Biodivers 15:49–62. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. George KH, Plum C (2009) Description of two new species of Dorsiceratus Drzycimski, 1967 (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Ancorabolidae) from Sedlo and Seine Seamounts (northeastern Atlantic) and remarks on the phylogenetic status of the genus. Zootaxa 2006:257–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Giere O (2009) Meiobenthology. The microscopic motile Fauna of aquatic sediments. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  19. Greuter W, Burdet VHM, Chaloner WG, Demoulin V, Grolle R, Hawksworth DL, Nicolson DH, Silva PC, Stafleu FA, Voss EG, McNeill J (1988) International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Adopted by the fourteenth international congress, Berlin, July-august 1987. Reg Veg 118:1–328Google Scholar
  20. Gutiérrez EE, Pine RH (2017) Specimen collection crucial to taxonomy. Science 355:1275. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Higgins RP, Thiel H (1988) Introduction to the study of meiofauna. Smithsonian Institution, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  22. International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (1999) International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, 4th edn. International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, LondonGoogle Scholar
  23. International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (2017) Declaration 45 – addition of recommendations to article 73 and of the term “specimen, preserved” to the Glossary. Bull Zool Nom 73:96–97. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jenner RA, Littlewood DTJ (2010) Invertebrate Problematica: kinds, causes, and solutions. In: Telford MJ, Littlewood DTJ (eds) Animal evolution – genomes, fossils and trees. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 107–126Google Scholar
  25. Kånneby T (2016) Phylum Gastrotricha. In: Thorp JH, Rogers DC (eds) Key to Nearctic Fauna: Thorp and Covich’s freshwater invertebrates, vol 2. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 115–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kieneke A, Nikoukar H (2017) Integrative morphological and molecular investigation of Turbanella hyalina Schultze, 1853 (Gastrotricha: Macrodasyida), including a redescription of the species. Zool Anz 267:168–186. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kieneke A, Martínez Arbizu PM, Fontaneto D (2012) Spatially structured populations with a low level of cryptic diversity in European marine Gastrotricha. Mol Ecol 21:1239–1254. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Kieneke A, Schmidt-Rhaesa A, Hochberg R (2015) A new species of Cephalodasys (Gastrotricha, Macrodasyida) from the Caribbean Sea with a determination key to species of the genus. Zootaxa 3947:367–385. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Kolicka M, Dabert M, Dabert J, Kånneby T, Kisielewski J (2016) Bifidochaetus, a new Arctic genus of freshwater Chaetonotida (Gastrotricha) from Spitsbergen revealed by an integrative taxonomic approach. Invert Syst 30:398–419. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Krell F-T, Marshall SA (2017) New species described from photographs: yes? No? Sometimes? A fierce debate and a new declaration of the ICZN. Insect Syst Divers 1:3–19. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Larsson K, Ahmadzadeh A, Jondelius U (2008) DNA taxonomy of Swedish Catenulida (Platyhelminthes) and a phylogenetic framework for catenulid classification. Org Divers Evol 8:399–412. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Littlewood DTJ, Bray RA (2001) Interrelationships of the Platyhelminthes. The systematics association special volume series 60. Taylor and Francis, London and New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Löbl I, Cibois A, Landry B (2016) Describing new species in the absence of sampled specimens: a taxonomist’s own-goal. Bull. Zool. Nom. 73:83–86. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Marshall SA, Evenhuis NL (2015) New species without dead bodies: a case for photo-based descriptions, illustrated by a striking new species of Marleyimyia Hesse (Diptera, Bombyliidae) from South Africa. ZooKeys 525:117–127. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Martínez A, Di Domenico M, Jörger K, Norenburg J, Worsaae K (2013) Description of three new species of Protodrilus (Annelida, Protodrilidae) from Central America. Mar Biol Res 9:676–691. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Minowa AK, Garraffoni ARS (2017) A new species of Haltidytes Remane, 1936 (Gastrotricha: Chaetonotida: Dasydytidae) from an urban lagoon in Brazil with a phylogenetic reconstruction of the genus based on morphological data. Zool Anz 269:100–109. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Neuhaus B, Schmid T, Riedel J (2017) Collection management and study of microscope slides: storage, profiling, deterioration, restoration procedures, and general recommendations. Zootaxa 4322(1):173. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Padial JM, Miralles A, De la RI, Vences M (2010) The integrative future of taxonomy. Front Zool 7:16. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Pape T, Allison A, Bickel DJ, Carlton JT, Dikow T, Donegan T, Duszynski DW, El-Hawagry MS, Evenhuis NL, Fautin DG (2016) Species can be named from photos. Nature 537:307. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Rogers DC, Ahyong ST, Boyko CB, D’acoz CD (2017) Images are not and should not ever be type specimens: a rebuttal to Garraffoni and Freitas. Zootaxa 4269:455–459. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Santos CMD, Amorim DS, Klassa B, Fachin DA, Nihei SS, de Carvalho CJB, Falaschi RL, Mello-Patiu CA, Couri MS, Oliveira SS (2016) On typeless species and the perils of fast taxonomy. Syst Ent 41:511–515. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sørensen MV, Sterrer W (2002) New characters in the gnathostomulid mouth parts revealed by scanning electron microscopy. J Morphol 253:310–334. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Sterrer W (1972) Systematics and evolution within the Gnathostomulida. Syst Zool 21:151–173. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Todaro MA, Hummon WD (2008) An overview and a dichotomous key to genera of the phylum Gastrotricha. Meiofauna Mar 16:3–20Google Scholar
  45. Todaro MA, Dal Zotto M, Leasi F (2015) An integrated morphological and molecular approach to the description and systematisation of a novel genus and species of Macrodasyida (Gastrotricha). PLoS One 10:e0130278. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. Turland NJ, Wiersema JH, Barrie FR, Greuter W, Hawksworth DL, Herendeen PS, Knapp S, Kusber W-H, Li D-Z, Marhold K, May TW, McNeill J, Monro AM, Prado J, Price MJ, Smith GF (2018) International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Shenzhen Code) adopted by the nineteenth international botanical congress Shenzhen, China, July 2017. Reg Veg 159:1–254Google Scholar
  47. Zhang ZQ, Shear WA (2007) Linnaeus tercentenary and invertebrate taxonomy: an introduction. Zootaxa 1668:7–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia Animal, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Deutsches Zentrum für Marine BiodiversitätsforschungSenckenberg am MeerWilhelmshavenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Animal Taxonomy and Ecology, Institute of Environmental BiologyAdam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznanPoland
  4. 4.Departamento de Biologia GeralUniversidade Estadual de Montes ClarosMontes ClarosBrazil
  5. 5.Herbário SPInstituto de BotânicaSão PauloBrazil
  6. 6.Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

Personalised recommendations