Types, topotypes and vouchers are the key to progress in coral taxonomy: Comment on Wepfer et al. (2020)

Victor Bonito, Andrew Baird, Tom Bridge, Peter Cowman, and Doug Fenner recently published a Letter to the Editor on Wepfer et al. (2020) re-iterating why the current accepted coral taxonomy is not the place to begin when examining species boundaries or evolutionary relationships in scleractinian corals.

They highlighted how the taxonomic value of the study could have been vastly improved if the authors had considered all the nominal species in the genus Galaxea, targeted topotypes, and retained voucher specimens for all their samples.

The published letter in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution can be viewed here.

[Image: Rampant synonymies in the Genus Galaxea have resulted in no less than 17 junior synonyms for G. fascicularis (Linneas 1767)]

Published comment

Bonito, V.E., Baird, A.H., Bridge, t., Cowman, P.F., Fenner, D., 2021. Type, topotypes and vouchers are the Key to Progress in Coral Taxonomy: Comment on Wepfer et al. 2020. Mol. Phylogen. Evol.

Literature cited

Wepfer, P.H., Nakajima, Y., Sutthacheep, M., Radice, V.Z., Richards, Z., Ang, P., Terraneo, T., Sudek, M., Fujimura, A., Toonen, R.J., Mikheyev, A.S., Economo, E.P., Mitarai, S., 2020. Evolutionary biogeography of the reef-building coral genus Galaxea across the Indo-Pacific Ocean. Mol. Phylogen. Evol.

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