Robin Leech robinl at NAIT.AB.CA
Tue Jul 2 08:43:06 CDT 1996

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1996 05:59:32 -0600 (MDT)
From: Robin Leech <robinl at>
To: ICZN-4 ICZN 4th Edition Draft for Discussion list
     <ICZN-4 at cmsa.Berkeley.EDU>
Cc: Multiple recipients of list ICZN-4 <ICZN-4 at cmsa.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: Re: FOREVER

Finding, resurecting and using the oldest synonym available does not cause
instability.   In fact it maintains stability, and is one of the main
reasons we have the Code.   The only place where there is temporary
instability is in the minds of the associated specialists.

Again, I cite that using the oldest name available for wapiti, or elk,
(known formerly as CERVUS CANADENSIS) in North America did not cause
problems when the oldest synonym, CERVUS ELAPHUS, was used and CERVUS
CANADENSIS was sunk as a junior synonym.  And it is the same with MUSTELA

Further, when the names provided in C. Clerck's 1757 Svenska Spindlar (=
Aranei Svecici) were accepted as valid over and above those provided in
Linnaeus' 1758 Systema Naturae, and the published date of Clerck's work
effectively altered so as to be considered as 1758 to match the date of
Linnaeus' work, nothing earth-shattering happened.  Stability was

Why are so many so afraid to find an older synonym and use the older name?
Think of the honor it bestows on the author.

Consider for a moment that, if for some reason, your works published today
were held in limbo and forgotten, all of your efforts are for nothing,
especially if, when your works are "refound" in the future, the
workers of the future day declare your names invalid because of a junior
synonym that is well-entrenched in the literature (and the minds of the

Come let us rejoice in priority, stability and common sense.

Robin Leech

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