Macrophagous leeches consist of two families of the suborder Hirudiniformes: viz., Americobdellidae and Cylicobdellidae; and all four families of the suborder Erpobdelliformes: viz., Orobdellidae, Gastrostomobdellidae, Erpobdellidae, and Salifidae. Among those six families, all species of Americobdellidae, Cylicobdellidae, Orobdellidae, and Gastrostomobdellidae are terrestrial and feed on terrestrial oligochaetes (earthworms). Orobdellid and gastrostomobdellid leeches were formerly included among the Hirudiniformes on account of their euthylaematous pharynx; however, recent molecular phylogenetic study has shown that these two families belong to the Erpobdelliformes. The most common recent ancestor of this suborder may have had a euthylaematous pharynx, and if so, strepsilaematous pharynx is an apomorphic character within Erpobdelliformes. The species of Orobdellidae and Gastrostomobdellidae possess a muscular gastroporal duct, the morphology of which has recently been shown to differ between the two families. In addition, three kinds of orobdellid-type ducts can be recognized: 1) bulbous; 2) tubular; and 3) rudimentary. To provide a framework for reviewing recent progress in evolutionary studies on terrestrial macrophagous leeches, the classification and phylogeny of the infraclass Hirudinida is briefly outlined.
Chaetonotids (Gastrotricha) are small 60-400μm in length, inhabit both the freshwater and marine environments. Their bodies are tenpin- or bottle- like shaped; flattened ventrally and arched dorsally. The sensory organs, brain, and pharynx are located in the anterior head. Posteriorly, a "furca" bears the adhesive organ. The locomotory cilia are restricted to the ventral surface, forming a pair of ciliary bands. The body wall is usually composed of the external cuticle of a flexible proteinous layer. In some gastrotrichs, the basal layer is locally thickened and specialized to form scales, spines, and hooks. The cuticular scales vary in arrangement and shape, depending on the species. The most common species are freshwater chaetonotid species that inhabit ponds, swamp, streams, and lakes. In these species male is entirely absent, thus the most chaetotonids reproduce by parthenogenesis. About 700 species of chaetonotids have been reported so far around the world. In Japan, 34 species were recorded from lakes, ponds, and swamps. Recently, 44 species have been found in the rice paddies. In this paper the natural history and diversity of chaetonotids are reviewed.
Taxonomy and zoology have been closely linked each other in sponge science. Zoology of sponges is thoroughly based on taxonomy, and vice versa. As an example of such fruitful relationship, here we reviewed a fourth class of phylum Porifera: Homoscleromorpha formally proposed in 2012, and formerly regarded as a subclass of Demospongiae. Morphology, embryology and developmental property of homoscleromorph sponges are distinct from those of Demospongiae, rather similar to those of eumetazoans in possession of basement membrane. Molecular phylogenetic study of basal metazoans also suggested separation of homoscleromorph sponges from Demospongiae. Review of homoscleromorph sponges in Japanese waters is also provided.
Taxonomy has always been regarded as basic to zoology, as a tool for species identification. On the other hand, taxonomy is also a goal of zoology; it reflects any sort of result from studies in various other fields such as development, ecology, and genetics. Although taxonomists have recently begun to use molecular data in identifying species (e.g., DNA barcoding), taxonomy is essentially based on organismal morphology, which is in turn strongly related to organismal function and ecology. Taxonomy thus provides motivation for new research in areas correlated with morphology, such as behavior or breeding systems. Morphology itself is preserved in biological specimens in museums; these specimens are valuable for various levels of morphological research, such as the study of muscle function or observations of micromorphology for biomimetics. Since museum specimens were collected over time and space, they are also potentially valuable for research in science history and for biogeographic comparisons. For example, we can investigate changes in bryozoan assemblages in Sagami Bay from specimens collected there over the past 130 years, and we can compare erect bryozoan assemblages along the Japanese Pacific coast based on collections. Although taxonomy is indispensable for zoology and for other research, it could easily become isolated and lose its potential role in zoology, if taxonomists ignore outreach for their research and the significance of taxonomy. Since taxonomy is both a basis and a goal of zoology, and taxonomists are specialists who knows the taxa they are studying from A to Z, taxonomists should strive to do outreach for their research by various types of publicity, such as presentations at meetings in other research fields and exhibitions at aquariums. The effect will be to motivate other researchers by introducing them to the diversity of morphology and function in organisms, and to initiate joint research. Positive outreach and good research by joint research projects will contribute to the promotion and development of taxonomy as a crucial field of zoology.
In this paper, the author presents a practical and theoretical approach to studying fish taxonomy for students and early career researchers, based on his personal experience working on the revision of threadfins-marine and freshwater fishes of the family Polynemidae. The approach is systematically arranged and described under twelve chapters, including an introduction, an insight into fish taxonomy research opportunities, and a conclusion, in the following order: Introduction; Research start-up; Writing the first taxonomic paper; Revisionary work: focus on common and widespread species; Reassessment of type specimens and original descriptions; The distributional implications of target taxa; Morphology and Ecology; Comparison between revision and review of taxonomic papers; A strategy on the order of publications; Recognizing species differences: natural aptitude or plentiful experience?; Research frontier: the numerous undescribed Southeast Asian freshwater fish species; and Conclusion.
An amendment to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature was passed on 4th Sept 2012 that formally establishes ZooBank as the online version of the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature, and allows valid publication of new nomenclatural acts in electronic-only journals as well as electronic-first works. The amendment requires electronic-only, and electronic-first works to be registered in ZooBank, and to include the registration number ('ZooBank LSID') in the publication. Although registration of the names and nomenclatural acts themselves is not yet required for their availability, the amendment encourages authors to register all new names and nomenclatural acts, whether they are introduced in e-only publications or in standard paper publications as well as publications, names and acts that have been previously published. This paper provides a practical instruction manual in Japanese to assist taxonomists to register their work in ZooBank based on its new version 3.1.
The current financial crisis at the International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature (ITZN) is reported here in the hope of inspiring widespread participation in an urgent, earnest, and ultimately successful fund-raising effort to save it. The organization, purpose, and history of ITZN are recounted here in brief, and evidently for the first time in Japanese, to foster a wider and better understanding of its significance. ITZN financially supports the entire operation of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) and its Secretariat, whose activities are indispensable for stability in the scientific names of animals. The Commission is responding innovatively to new technical opportunities by developing tools to make nomenclature more accessible and reliable, as shown by the 2012 amendment to the Code to allow valid electric publication and the relaunch of ZooBank, the Official Registry for Zoological Nomenclature, in a new architecture and better interface, both giving rise to an impressive increase in registrations. Establishing ZooBank as a gold-standard archive of scientific names is as important a task as the related endeavors of keeping archives of type specimens (the core role of Natural History Collections) and archives of published information (the core role of libraries and online data archives). ITZN's financial underpinnings must be restored quickly, with an assurance of steady and adequate future income. The risk is such that it could fail and be dissolved as soon as 2013. If ITZN founders, ICZN's ability to function will be severely compromised. A new "subscription" campaign to encourage annual pledges of funds to ITZN from stakeholder institutions and organizations around the world (museums, learned societies, businesses, etc.), including in Japan, is outlined.