Need for neotype

Tue Dec 31 18:52:00 CST 1996

Author 1 provided a "name and a description in French and in English
(pre-1935)" according to Dr. Nelson's report. Assuming that the name of the
new species was, in fact, in Latin, but that the description of the taxon
was in French and English, we can continue.

If the bionomial was in French and/or in English,
then the name is not validly published (Principle
V, Art. 23, Art. 32.1).

A name is validly published even if a type was not designated if the name
was published prior to 1 Jan 1958 (Art. 37.1).

As Robin Leech has already noted, Art. 9.9 permits the designation of a
neotype if one wishes to do so. However, one is not required to designate a
type. Under the Tokyo Code, a name without a type can not be specifically
applied, as "application of names of taxonomic groups is determined by means
of nomenclatural types" (Principle II).

One can therefore avoid the use of a name
by not designating a type; however, this
does not prevent someone else from coming
along and establishing a type.

Author 2's name appears to be valid and available according to what is
reported by Dr. Nelson.

If the two entities represent the same element -- as near as one can tell
given that one is not typified -- then one has some obligations and some
options under the present Code.


The Author 1 name has priority and must be used, especially in the name is
typified with an element that is definitely the same as the one defined by the
type of the name proposed by the second author. It is not possible -- with or
without a type -- to consider the Author 1 name a synonym of the Author 2 name.


Selection of a type: If one is confident that the two names represent the same
element, one option is to designate the holotype of the Author 2 name as the
neotype of the Author 1 name. By typification, the Author 2 name becomes
superfluous, and the Author 1 name is the correct name. This is actually the
cleanest way to do this as it leaves unambiguous that the two names are
synonymous. The Author 1 name would then be the correct name.

Selection of a name: You have a couple of options: If the two names have about
equal universal useage, priority ought to rule, and with the two names based
on the same type specimen, the Author 1 name is the correct name. If the
second name is more commonly used, then you have a couple of options:

One: Propose the Author 1 name for rejection (Art. 56.1) WITHOUT proposing a
type for the name. If your proposal is accepted, the name is gone allowing the
Author 2 name to be the next available name for the plant in question.

Two: Propose the Author 2 name for conservation (Art. 14.1). DO NOT neotypify
the Author 1 name, but explain in your proposal the disadvantageous changes
in the nomenclature of the species should someone neotypify the Author 1 name.
If your proposal is accepted, the Author 2 name has priority even if someone
comes along and neotypifies the Author 1 name.

In summary: Decided to neotypify the Author 1
name with caution; do so only if you wish the
name to come into use. If you wish to use the
Author 2 name, propose rejection of the Author
1 name as this is simplier to do than to
conserve the Author 2 name. Neotypification can
come with formal rejection, and this step can be
negotiated with the appropriate nomenclatural
committee should it be deemed necessary by that
committee for the rejected name to have a type.

In any case like this, strive to find a broad array of opinion on the uses
of the two names, noting in particular where each has been used and any
trend there might be in the use of one name over the other. Be fair. Each is
probably someone's favorite name, or as this is a weed species, there might
be local, regional, national or international laws that might come into play.

Good luck!

James L. Reveal (MARY)

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