The female of the species – for taxonomy

Here’s a report of a study arguing for the greater use of females, and female characteristics, in taxonomy – using praying mantids as exemplars.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/02/480437128/insect-named-for-ruth-bader-ginsburg-is-step-toward-equality-of-the-6-legged-sex

Importantly, paying more attention to female genitalia allowed the researchers – Sydney Brannoch and Gavin Svenson – to correct previous errors.

“As a feminist biologist, I often questioned why female specimens weren’t used to diagnose most species,” said Brannoch, a Ph.D. student. Her research with Svenson examined 30 praying mantis specimens and demonstrated that it was possible to accurately classify them by species using the female-specific characteristics.

Thanks to Becky for passing this along.

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