Latin diagnoses

Nicholas S. Lander nickl at HERB.CALM.WA.GOV.AU
Fri Oct 27 12:53:12 CDT 1995

There has been much discussion of later concerning the requirement by the
ICBN for Latin diagnoses where new taxa are formally named.

Perhaps the time has come, as Mike Dallwitz has hinted, to revise the ICBN
so that it requires instead that any new taxon be accompanied by a
DELTA-coded description and/or diagnosis.  This would have the merit of
being readily and mechanically translated into virtually any language.  This
scheme could be greatly enhanced by the adoption of a set of standard
descriptors such as that Richard Pankhurst et al. are working on for
flowering plants.  However, the latter is by no means essential.

Of course a public repository would have to be found for the relevant
"characters", "specifications", "items" and other data files.  These could
be accessed by establishing a unique Home Page for each taxon so treated.  I
think it was Jim Croft (ANBG) who suggested quite some time ago that each
and every taxon might have its own Internet address.  Perhaps the latter
could be made the formal (ie scientific) name, and Latin names (or those in
other languages, dead or alive) would be come rather like colloquial names
are now.
 |                                                           |
 |  Nicholas S. Lander     Email: nickl at  |
 |  Research Scientist                Voice: +61 9 334 0478  |
 |  WA Herbarium - CALM                 Fax: +61 9 334 0515  |

More information about the Taxacom mailing list