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No Name, No Game

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In an interesting contribution Joppa et al. (2011) revisit some aspects of the taxonomic impediment (Evenhuis 2007; and come to the conclusion that, contrary to the generally accepted idea, both the rates of species description and the number of taxonomists have increased exponentially since the 1950’s. Joppa et al. (2011) also note a marked decline in the number of species described per taxonomist which they attribute to the difficulty of finding new species in an ever declining ‘missing species pool’. Therefore, their results might be interpreted that today’s taxonomic workforce is sufficient to describe the remaining (shallow) ‘pool of missing species’. In this contribution, we question if this is indeed the case and propose a solution for speeding up taxonomic descriptions.

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