Guidelines for Authors


Manuscript will be carefully scrutinized for evidence of plagiarism, duplication and data manipulation; in particular, images will be carefully examined for any indication of intentional improper modification.

Any suspected misconduct ends up with a quick rejection and is then reported to the US Office of Research Integrity.

Ensure that your work is written in correct English before submission. It is not the Editors’ or Referees’ responsibility to provide language assistance, and poorly-written manuscripts may be grounds for rejection. We encourage authors whose first language is not English to seek assistance in manuscript preparation, including writing and editing, prior to the initial submission: professional copyediting can help authors sharpen the quality and presentation of their work and increase its chances of being taken on by a publisher. You can find a reliable revision service at:

Preparing your manuscript

Manuscripts should be in either British or American English, consistently throughout. Check for consistent spelling of names, terms, and abbreviations, including in tables and figure captions.

Each manuscript should be typewritten, double-spaced throughout; pages should be in A4 format and numbered, lines should be left numbered in continuum (10-digit numeric system). The preferred format for manuscripts is Microsoft® Word.

The manuscript should be arranged into the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Material and methods
  • Sub-heading(s), if any
  • Taxonomy or Systematics (for taxonomic papers only)
  • Results
  • Sub-heading(s), if any
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Acknowledgements
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Authors' Contributions
  • References
  • Tables
  • Figures
  • Figure legend(s)  

The manuscript format should adhere to these specifications:

  • A4 page size (210 mm × 297 mm) in portrait orientation, with margins of 20 mm on all four sides;
  • Text to be in Times New Roman (12 point), and double line-spaced throughout;
  • All paragraphs should be left aligned, indented and not justified;
  • Page numbers should be in the centre of the footer;
  • All headings should be in bold, initial cap only, ranged left;
  • First sub-headings should be in bold italics, initial cap only, ranged left;
  • Second sub-headings should be in italics, initial cap only, ranged left.

Other specifications:

  • All species and genus names are to be in italics. All other words are not to be italicised (e.g., sensu stricto, fide, et al., etc.);
  • Metric measurements and the SI convention should be used throughout the manuscript (refer to ‘A Concise Summary of the International System of Units, the SI’ for more details);
  • All numbers less than 10 should be spelt in full, except in the "Material examined" section of taxonomic papers;
  • En dashes ‘–‘, and not hyphens ‘-‘, should always be used when representing a closed range of values (e.g., pp. 1–10, 0700–1200 hours);
  • Dates should have the months spelt out in Roman numerals followed by a four-digit year (e.g., 21.VII. 2019);
  •  Time should be represented in the 24-hour format (e.g., 2200 hours, and not 10PM, 10:00 pm or 22:00);
  • When representing geographic coordinates, the format adopted has to be strictly consistent throughout the length of the manuscript.

Tropical Zoology maintains its neutrality with regard to names of disputed geographical features. National names in conjunction with internationally accepted names for such disputed geographical features may be used.

Title: The title should be clear and concise. It should be typed in sentence case and in bold. The higher classification of any taxa in the title should be placed in parentheses, separated by colons, in descending order: e.g. “The terrestrial isopods (Crustacea: Isopoda: Oniscidea) from the Maldives”. A short running title of the paper (no longer than 35 characters) must be provided to be used in the page header.
Authors: Authors’ names and surnames should be spelled in full, ranged left and followed by the authors’ professional affiliation(s), in italics, e.g. 1Department, University, City, Country; 2Department, University, City, Country. An “*” should indicate the corresponding author in the authors list with the email address given as footnote on page 1, i.e. *Corresponding author. Email: xxxxxx@xxxx.xx.
Abstract: The Abstract (maximum 500 words) should clearly and concisely state the results and conclusions of the paper. The names of all newly described taxa should be mentioned. No citations should be made.
Key words  (4–6 maximum) should be listed following the Abstract.
Citations in the text: References in the text are to be cited by the Author’s surname and year of publication.
For a single author: (Chan 1985);
for two authors: (Smith and Griffith 1998);
for three or more authors: (Harrison et al. 1999).
Multiple references should be arranged in first chronological, then alphabetical order.
When citing different references by the same author(s), list them in chronological order with the publication year separated by a comma, e.g., “In series of papers, Smith (1966, 1968, 1970) revised…”.
When an animal genus or species is first mentioned in the text or in a table, it should be followed by its taxonomic authority, year with the use of parentheses according to the rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. When there are two or more authors an ampersand is used, e.g. Takedactylus compressus Naruse & Yoshida, 2018, Xiphocentron aqualume Rocha, Dumas & Nessimian, 2017. Do not use et al. in authorships.

Taxonomic papers
All taxonomic papers have to be registered in ZooBank by the author before online publication. The LSID will be included on the first page of the paper together with the date of publication.
All scientific names proposed must be in accordance with the Fourth Edition of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (1999). Descriptions of new taxa by one author in a paper under another’s name are discouraged (e.g., Smith, in Johnson & Lim, 1986). New taxa with more than three authors are normally not accepted.

New taxa must carry the appropriate indications, e.g., Omanodillo n. gen.; Omanodillo gardneri n. sp. Do not use  gen. nov. or sp. nov. Relevant figure numbers should be listed under the heading, in normal text, within brackets, e.g., (Figure 1) or (Figures 1–3). Supra-generic taxa, genus and species names that appear as headings should be centred and in bold, and accompanied by the author and the year.
Synonyms must be cited in the short form (taxon, author, year, page, figs), but the full reference must be provided  in the "References" section. When listing synonyms, start each one on a new line and end each line with a period. A telegraphic style is required for descriptions, diagnoses and keys. The origins of all new names must be briefly explained in a paragraph of its own under a subheading ‘Etymology’. In the case of new genera, the gender must be stated.
The use of keys is encouraged. However, keys are difficult to typeset and authors must adhere strictly to the following guidelines:
Keys should not be indented. Only the first line of each couplet is numbered with Arabic numerals followed by a period “.”.  The second couplet must start with an en dash and not a hyphen.
For example:

1. Pleonite 3 with two tubercules .................................................................................................................................. 2
– Pleonite 3 with four or more tubercles ..................................................................................................................... 3
2. Pereonites 1-6 with the outer tubercles bifid .......................................................................... Tuberillo schawalleri
– Pereonites 1-6 with the outer tubercles not bifid .......................................................................... Tuberillo jubatus
3. Cephalon with two rows of tubercles, an anterior one of four and a posterior one of six tubercles; pleonite
5 with three tubercles ..................................................................................................................................................... 4

Material and methods
Methodology should be clearly and concisely stated. Lists of abbreviations used should appear here.

Material examined
The depositories where type specimens are deposited must be clearly stated, including catalogue numbers whenever possible. These depositories should be responsible public institutions and not private collections. Abbreviations of depository names should be official ones and should be listed in the "Material and methods" section. The holotype and paratype(s) data must be clearly designated in separate paragraphs. Use symbols for male and female. If the sex is not known, the abbreviation of the word example, “ex.” will be used.
The material should be listed as follows:
number of specimens and sex
(remarks about specimen’s condition or measurements) (depository catalogue number), locality, collector’s name preceded by “leg.”, date of collection (months spelt in Roman numbers). Specimen lots are to be separated by semi-colons.
If a different format is necessary, authors are required to seek the approval of the editor.

All references cited, including authorships of taxa only in taxonomic papers, must be listed at the end of the manuscript under the section "References". All references must be complete. The full citations are to be listed in alphabetical then chronological order, with a hanging indent of 5 mm. Treat particles such as “de”, “la”, “van”, “van de”, and “von” as part of the surname. The word “page” is abbreviated to “p.” and “pages” to “pp.”. The word “plate” is abbreviated to “pl.” and “plates” to “pls.”.
The references should follow the format of the examples listed below precisely, including the punctuation, style and spacing:

  1. Articles
    Collinge W. 1915. Description of a new genus and species of Terrestrial Isopoda from British Guiana. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 32(220):509–511. doi:
    Ferrara F, Taiti S. 1981. Terrestrial isopods from Ascension Island. Monitore Zoologico Italiano, Supplemento. 14(1):189–198. doi:
    For papers with more than 10 authors use “et al.” after the 10th name.
  2. Books
    Kingdon J. 1989.  Island Africa: the evolution of Africa’s rare animals and plants. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press. 187 pp.
    Oates JF. 2011. Primates of West Africa. Washington (DC): Conservation International. 554 pp.
  3. Book chapters
    Ray JC. 2001. Carnivore biogeography and conservation in the African forest: a community perspective.
    In: Weber W, White L, Vedder A, Naughton-Treves L, editors. African rainforest ecology and conservation. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press. p. 214–232.
  4. Theses and reports
    Tan SH. 2004. A systematic revision of the Parthenopidae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura). Unpublished PhD Thesis. National University of Singapore, Singapore. 729 pp.
    Coudrat CNZ. 2012. Wildlife Surveys in Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area 2011–2012. Final Report Submitted to the Watershed Management and Protection Authority, Ban Oudomsouk, Nakai District. 194 pp.
  5. Websites
    Boyko CB, Bruce NL, Hadfield KA, Merrin KL, Ota Y, Poore GCB, Taiti S, Schotte M, Wilson GDF. 2008. ) World Marine, Freshwater and Terrestrial Isopod Crustaceans database. Venezillo Verhoeff, 1928. (accessed 24 April 2018).

It is the author’s responsibility to verify that all citations in the text are listed in the References and viceversa.

Tables must be presented on separate pages with single spacing. They should be organised to fit the page format. All tables must have their own headings, be self-explanatory, and not require reference to the text. Lengthy headings are to be avoided, but supplementary notes are allowed. Tables should be numbered with Arabic numbers, e.g., Table 1, Tables 2–4. Submission of tables as image files is not allowed; they should be easily editable.

Figures (photographs, line drawings, and/or maps)
The complete manuscript must be submitted via email inclusive of all figures in digital format. All line drawings, photographs (print or slide transparency), maps or graphs are referred to as “Figure(s)". All figures must fit within the page size format (including legends) either directly, or after reduction. Figures must be numbered in a single series throughout with Arabic numerals, in a sequence that follows some order. Each part of a composite figure should be labelled alphabetically and in some order (e.g., in the sequence of its arrangement). Captions for all figures must be provided at the end of each manuscript text, be self-explanatory, and not require reference to the text. In providing an indication of size, scale bars are preferred, and must be inserted close to the relevant figure. Magnification numbers are not allowed.

For initial submission, photographic images that are either black and white or in colour are acceptable. To reduce file size for reviewing purposes, they may be submitted in JPEG format (.jpg). These may be submitted individually or embedded in Microsoft© Word documents. Do not send digital images in any other formats. While resolution as low as 96 dpi for these images are tolerated, the image size should be at least 1024• 768 pixels (about 270 • 200 mm).
For line drawings, the minimum resolution should be 300 dpi and image size to be at least 1024 • 768 pixels (about 270 • 200 mm). Authors should arrange their line drawings in such a way as to fit into an A4-size page.

For final submission, the colour profiles of the original digital black and white (b/w), and colour images should be in greyscale and RGB, respectively.
Photographic images should be at least 300 dpi and the image size should be at least 1800 • 1200 pixels (about 150 • 100 mm) and in TIFF format (.tif). Black and white photographic images should have high contrast and show fine detail. 

Original line drawings should be at least 600 dpi and in TIFF  format. Author must remember that figures should be arranged for reduction and not enlargement when published.

Graphs are treated in the same manner as line drawings. Legends to symbols used on maps should preferably be included in the map itself.

Long manuscripts
A table of contents should be provided for long manuscripts. This will be placed between the abstract and the introduction.

Manuscript format for Short Communication
A Short Communication is a concise report representing a significant contribution to zoology of tropical and subtropical areas, which is, however, not suited as a full research article. It should not include subheadings (Introduction, Material and Methods etc.) but should follow this pattern, if appropriate. The total length of the article should not exceed 2500 words in text with a maximum of 15 references and a total of 2 figures and/or tables. The Abstract should not exceed 100 words.

In case extracts (text/figures/tables) from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright holder(s) and credit the source(s) in the article, for example: 'Adapted from Rocha et al., Trop Zool 2018;30:170-177; with permission.' The editorial office of Tropical Zoology needs to receive a copy of the written permission before proceeding with publication. Please download here the 'License and Disclaimer' agreement.

Process to publication
Please consult the "Editorial Policy and Procedure" for detailed information.