autonymy hierarchy

John McNeill johnm at ROM.ON.CA
Tue Jul 8 09:48:09 CDT 1997

On 8 July: Joseph E. Laferriere wrote:

>The discussion on autonymy hierarchy raises a related albeit slightly
>different point. My question is that if the publication of an
>infraspecific name automatically causes the creation of an autonym of
>the same rank and priority, which one has priority? For example,
>suppose I publish the name Planta hypothetica var. alba in 1997. This
>automatically causes the creation of the variety Planta hypothetica
>var. hypothetica. Suppose in 1998 someone desides that the entire
>species should be considered a variety of Planta rubra. Does this
>become Planta rubra var. hypothetica or Planta rubra var. alba?

This is the issue that led to the adoption, at the International
Botanical Congress in Sydney in 1981, of the current autonym rule in
the Botanical Code; the autonymic epithet has priority, see Art. 11.6.

John McNeill

  John McNeill, Director Emeritus, Royal Ontario Museum,
  100 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2C6, Canada.
  Tel. and fax # 416-586-5744  e-mail: johnm at

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