Weirdness of ICBN

Thu Jan 4 20:36:00 CST 1996

The example Barbara Ertter gave is, as Warren Lamboy points out, covered fully
by Art. 43.1. At the same time, I wish to draw botanists' attention to Note 1
in Art. 43 which deals with specific or other epithets published under words
not to be regarded as generic names. [Seeing Ert make such a statement only
causes me to wonder where I failed in her early education!]

Regardless of my failings, I think the comments that started this string needs
a bit of clarification. By definition, in Art. 24.1, the name of an
infraspecific taxon is a combination of the name of a species and an
infraspecific epithet connected by a term denoting rank. This is rather
different from what is to be regarded as authorship or even author citation.
Author citation is covered under Art. 46. Here one is instructed (Art. 46.1),
for the indication of the name of a taxon to be accurate and complete, that it
is necessary to cite the name of the author(s) who validly published the name
concerned. Note the last three words "the name concerned."

If one is "concerned" with a trinomial, only the author of the final epithet
need be given. This article does not state that to include the name of the
author of the species is prohibited; in fact it states nothing at all.

If one is dealing with a series of unrelated names it might be useful to write
Eriogonum umbellatum Torr. var. majus Hook., but what is necessary according
to Art. 46 is only E. umbellatum var. majus Hook.

Thus, one can use both forms if one wishes, but only the latter is necessary.
Editors often determine which format one is permitted to use, and Taxon
editors have taken their's. If one is concerned about it, remember, one can
always write something like "on a recent walk through the forest I came across
a strange form of Planta hypothetica Smith that was so attracted to me, and I
to it, that I call it:

Planta hypothetica var. erotica Jones, var. nov. ......

Kind of like getting a nice cake and eating it too.

Jim Reveal (MARY)

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