Update on the Rogue Taxonomist

Last year I mentioned the antics of Mr. Dewanand Makhan, an amateur taxonomist whose enthusiasm for publication rather outstrips any penchant for quality control. This week a team of myrmecologists has stepped in to reverse some of Makhan’s errors:

All that [Makhan] has done is sample some of Suriname’s common species of Dacetini, and one common species of Basicerotini, and describe them all as new, without checking if any of them already had identities. His motives for writing this paper cannot be imagined and the total lack of investigation of previous endeavour defies understanding.

Source: Bolton et al. (2008) New synonyms in neotropical Myrmicine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 1732: 61-64.


  1. #1 asj
    March 29, 2008

    Yeah, I saw that LONG thread about it in the ant forum…the guy’s NUTS, and so is that editor who defended his shenanigans.

  2. #2 JochenB
    March 29, 2008

    My respect to the authors who spent much time just to correct this nonsense.

  3. #3 Dave
    March 31, 2008

    Bravo! I only wish Zootaxa made the article open-access to serve as an object lesson to charlatans in all fields. Perhaps we ant guys can pass the hat to pay for open-access and “quantify” our collective relief in the successful resolution of this taxonomic problem.

  4. #4 Dr TJHawkeswood
    April 26, 2008

    Bolton will not have the last say I am afraid!

    Dr Trevor J. Hawkeswood

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