The Echinodermata is, in terms of species, one of the largest of animal phyla. They are distributed exclusively and widely in the marine environment, where they occupy important biological and environmental roles. Despite their relevance, relatively few scientists have studied echinoderms in Japan. I have comprehensively surveyed the echinoderm fauna of Japan and adjacent regions, and have discovered diverse and intriguing taxa. My research on these species has utilized diverse approaches, including taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology, morphology and paleontology. I have also initiated educational and outreach activities intended to encourage the study of echinoderm biology and natural history, including an annual scientific meeting emphasizing echinoderm research in Japan. Thanks to collaboration with students in my laboratory, scientific colleagues and “citizen scientists” including fans of echinoderms, we have seen a significant increase in Japanese echinoderm research.
This study reports the taxonomy, ecology and evolution of interstitial Ostracoda (Crustacea). Taxonomy and ecology of interstitial ostracods from river mouth were discussed. High salinity tolerance of the interstitial ostracods living river mouth was proven by field distribution and laboratory experiment. The author hypothesizes that ancestral marine interstitial species which has high salinity tolerance have been migrated to the river mouth environment where salinity varies drastically. From the mating experiment of Parapolycope spiralis, multi-step of pre-copulatory behavior was observed: (1) the male captures the female by a sucker on the antennula; (2) the male clasps and maintains the mating position using the endopodite claw and the exopodite of the antenna; (3) the male makes contact using the distal part of the upper lip; and (4) copulation takes place. The male upper lip shows species-specific and largely diverged morphologies in the Parapolycope species. The specific contact stimuli might be caused by various shapes of male upper lip and then females discriminate a favorable mating partner depending on these stimulations. The author concluded the species-specific morphologies of male upper lip have evolved by female mate choice. In addition, this study provides a brief overview of several taxonomic studies on marine ostracods.
This paper summarizes the previous amendments of the 4th edition of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and presents the Japanese version of the latest provisional amendment and the explanatory note published by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature in March 2017. In the latest provisional amendment, four recommendations were added to Article 73 and one term, “specimen, preserved”, was added to the Glossary concerning the establishment of a new species-group taxon without a preserved name-bearing type. Additionally, we review the background of this provisional amendment. All zoologists should pay careful attention to this amendment in order to advance zoological sciences and their reproducibility.
The history of the nomenclatural type concept and the principle of typification are outlined following examination of articles, recommendations and appendices in editions (and Japanese versions) of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), the Règles Internationales de la Nomenclature zoologique, and the antecedent Stricklandian and Blanchard Codes. For family-group names, typification first appeared as a recommendation of the Stricklandian Code in 1843, subsequently becoming a criterion for availability following publication of the Blanchard Code in 1889. Typification of genus-group names also followed publication of the Stricklandian Code, being considered a criterion for availability since 1930. In species-group names, however, the explicit fixation of name-bearing types (holotypes and syntypes) has been included in the appendices of the Règles since 1913, being a recommendation in the first to third editions of the ICZN, and now (fourth edition), a criterion of availability of names published after 1999. Reasons are considered why the principle of typification was applied as a criterion for availability for species-group names far later than for family- and genus-group ones. The institution and development of public specimen registration systems in the UK and USA are also discussed.
Ecto- and meso-parasitic copepod basibionts harbor a wide variety of epibionts. The basibionts belong to the families Caligidae, Pandaridae, Trebiidae, Pennellidae, Sphyriidae, Bomolochidae, Ergasilidae, and Lernaeidae. Epibionts consist of bacteria, suctorian and peritrich ciliates, hydrozoan polyps, udonellid monogeneans, stalked barnacles, and algae. Udonellids and hydrozoan polyps seem to correspond to hyperparasitism, while attachment of some algae is regarded as accidental phoresy. These fish parasites provide unique substrates for epibionts, due to (1) no molting in the adults, (2) provision of relatively long-live and stable attachment sites, and (3) protection from fish immune responses, in addition to advantages of high mobility and dispersal of primary host fish.
Value of specimens as research materials is secured by their collection information. This research attempted to restore collection information of a mammal skeletal specimen stored in the National Museum of Nature and Science with insufficient collection data by clarifying its collection history. The specimen was presented to the Tokyo Imperial Museum in 1906 from the Australian Museum, where we found the information for the specimen including the collection locality, cataloging date, collector’s name, and the catalog number of the Australian Museum. The restoration of collection information improved the value of the specimen. And the continuation of the restoration effort like this study contributes to the improvement of the global biodiversity information.