Mike Crisp Mike.Crisp at ANU.EDU.AU
Thu Nov 21 10:15:11 CST 1996

Don Colless stated:
>I recall hearing of a zoologist who always declared his specific
>names to be "nouns in apposition", as a service to humanity. The
>idea was to prevent any future bother over endings. I've never
>tried it, but it should work.

In the botanical code, article 23.2 states: 'The epithet in the name of a
species may be taken from any source whatever, and may even be composed
arbitrarily....', which would seem to allow what Don is suggesting, and a
whole lot else besides.  I have seen some very unclassical names accepted
under this rule, eg Leptospermum wooroonooran (from an Australian
aboriginal word) and  Adenanthos dobagii (from the initials of the
Department of Biogeography and Geomorphology, where the author was a

However, Art. 23.2 concludes: '...(but see Art. 60.1).'  Herein lies Catch
22.  Art. 60.1 introduces a whole series of rules about the correct
formation of names from their Latin or other language roots, which must be
corrected if deemed incorrectly formed.  I do not know of a test case where
these two rules have come into conflict.

Dr. Michael D. Crisp
Senior Lecturer in Plant Systematics
Division of Botany & Zoology
Australian National University       Phone int+ 61 6 249 2882
Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia         Fax int+ 61 6 249 5573


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