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Keywords:

  • Biometry;
  • Centropyxis;
  • morphology;
  • taxonomy

ABSTRACT. The present work focuses on 12 taxa of the genus Centropyxis Stein, 1857 to explore the conflict between traditional and contemporary taxonomic practices. We examined the morphology, biometry, and ecology of 2,120 Centropyxis individuals collected from Tiete River, Sao Paulo, Brazil; with these new data we studied the consistency of previously described species, varieties, and forms. We encountered transitional forms of test morphology that undermine specific and varietal distinctions for three species and nine varieties. Biometrical analyses made comparing the organisms at the species level suggest a lack of separation between Centropyxis aculeata and Centropyxis discoides, and a possible distinction for Centropyxis ecornis based on spine characteristics. However, incongruence between recent and previous surveys makes taking any taxonomic–nomenclatural actions inadvisable, as they would only add to the confusion. We suggest an explicit and objective taxonomic practice in order to enhance our taxonomic and species concepts for microbial eukaryotes. This will allow more precise inferences of taxon identity for studies in other areas.