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Published: 2020-12-28

I know who you are, but do others know? Why correct scientific names are so important for the biological sciences

Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde 2109, Australia
Univ. Bordeaux, EPOC, UMR 5805, Station Marine d’Arcachon, 33120 Arcachon, France CNRS, EPOC, UMR 5805, Station Marine d’Arcachon, 33120 Arcachon, France


Researchers are continuing to identify polychaetes using inappropriate references and failing to appreciate that many if not most species have restricted distributions. Using Marphysa sanguinea (Montagu, 1813) as a case example, we discuss the loss of valuable data by misidentifying a species. We suggest ways in which this problem can be addressed by both taxonomists, ecologists and other researchers. Furthermore, this situation is not unique to polychaetes but applies to many other groups of marine invertebrates.


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