Morphologies of animals can vary significantly, and variation in characters in relation to taxonomic discrimination is often either underestimated or not evaluated. It can, however, make the identification and separation of species on morphological criteria less sound. Here, we investigate variation in morphological characters used to separate species of the Antarctic starfish genus Odontaster. Three closely related species in this genus have recently been identified using molecular barcoding (Odontaster validus, Odontaster roseus and Odontaster pearsei), and their morphologies have also been reported to be distinct, allowing them to be identified as separate species and not cryptic on morphological criteria. Our study shows that variation in overall shape, colour and for the number of spinelets on the abactinal plates of individuals in a single population of O. validus collected from one locality covers the whole range of that reported for O. roseus and overlaps that of O. pearsei. These may be separate species at the molecular level, but care needs to be used when using morphological criteria to separate them, and more care is needed to include assessment of morphological variation when constructing taxonomic keys for these species.
The National Pawnbrokers Association is suing the Department of Defense over its Military Lending Act rule changes, asserting, among other things, that the DoD violated the Regulatory Flexibility Act by failing to consider the costs of compliance for small businesses.The pawnbrokers also alleged the DoD violated the Administrative Procedure Act by offering no justification for its new requirement that lenders verify a credit applicant’s status as a covered borrower and because the final rule was neither signed by the Secretary of Defense, the undersecretary or any other authorized officer of the U.S. The final rule was signed by a Federal Register liaison officer at the DoD.The pawnbrokers group and its members are seeking, among other things, a preliminary injunction barring the DoD from enforcing or applying the rule against pawn business until it considers the economic impact.The DoD revised its MLA rule last year, and it made all provisions except those specific to credit-card accounts effective this Oct. 3. Provisions for credit cards take effect Oct. 3, 2017. The revisions expand the scope of the MLA rule to cover virtually all unsecured lending, subjecting loans to the Military Annual Percentage Rate cap of 36 percent. MAPR will also include charges for most “add-on” products including various forms of credit insurance and credit-related ancillary products. continue reading » 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr