saying names are 'wrong' prior to a taxonomic revision is somewhat

Widespread mistaken identity in tropical plant collections
Zoë A. Goodwin
 David J. Harris
 Denis Filer
 John R.I. Wood
 Robert W. Scotland


Specimens of plants and animals preserved in museums are the primary source
of verifiable data on the geographical and temporal distribution of
organisms. Museum datasets are increasingly being uploaded to aggregated
regional and global databases (e.g. the Global Biodiversity Information
Facility; GBIF) for use in a wide range of analyses [1] . Thus,
digitisation of natural history collections is providing unprecedented
information to facilitate the study of the natural world on a global scale.
The digitisation of this information utilises information provided on
specimen labels, and assumes they are correctly identified. Here we
evaluate the accuracy of names associated with 4,500 specimens of African
gingers from 40 herbaria in 21 countries. Our data show that at least 58%
of the specimens had the wrong name prior to a recent taxonomic study. A
similar pattern of wrongly named specimens is also shown for Dipterocarps
and *Ipomoea* (morning glory). We also examine the number of available
plant specimens worldwide. Our data demonstrate that, while the world’s
collections have more than doubled since 1970, more than 50% of tropical
specimens, on average, are likely to be incorrectly named. This finding has
serious implications for the uncritical use of specimen data from natural
history collections.
full 2 page PDF:

Mike Quinn, Austin
Texas Entomology