ueymi at GEMINI.OSCS.MONTANA.EDU
Fri Nov 8 09:24:28 CST 1996
I would like to thank all of those who responded to my request for
opinions on the validity of the name Achrestus chalumeui.
I forgot to mention that the name was of an animal, so received responses
for both the Botanical & Zoological Code.
Most (but not all) gave me the answer I hoped for, that the name is not
valid, so now I will give my reasons for being uncertain in the first place.
First, there is no type mentioned. Unfortunately (unbelievably!) this
has no effect. The Code does not require a type for a name to be valid.
Second, it is clear Chalumeau did not intend to describe the species.
Third, there are no clear characters mentioned. Unfortunately, this is
also true for many validly described species.
My confusion was because the description could be interpreted to mean
(paraphrased) "An Achrestus from Martinique that has the color pattern of F.
camemini". In actuality, this does distinguish the taxon, especially in
the company of the figure. In my opinion, the problem with this view is
that it requires the reader to interpret it this way, rather the author
actually saying it this way.
Are we agreed that this is too much of a reach to consider the name
Next question. Since we are more or less agreed that the name is invalid,
what is to stop someone else from coming along and claiming it is, using
the same sections of the Code that we have used, but slanting them
differently and then creating synonyms, etc. Should this name be sent in
to be added to the list of rejected names in Zoology? Is there any
other way to make its rejection truly final?
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