Subsp. or ssp.?

Mon Jan 22 14:21:00 CST 1996

The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature sanctions only the prefix
sub- (Art. 4.2) and the ranks of taxa (see Arts. 1-5). The Code does not
state how one should abbreviate any rank name. If one uses ssp. or subsp. or
subspecies is of no concern to the Code. Therefore, assuming all other
appropriate provisions of the Code are followed, a new taxon published as
ssp. "epithet" is validly published.

It continues to amaze me who some people manage to come up with their
misunderstandings of the Code. Perhaps if more persons doing systematic work
would actually consult or, better yet, purchase a copy, there would be less
confusion. While there are many traditional ways of doing taxonmy,
nomenclature is not governed by tradition. Rather, the rules of
nomenclature are considered anew every six years and modifications made.
While not all may be worthy, the Code is the Code and must be followed with
each of us bound by the current version.

Jim Reveal (MARY)

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