A Question (2)

Andrey Sharkov Sharkov.1 at OSU.EDU
Thu May 29 17:28:36 CDT 1997

Perhaps any law leaves space for its misinterpretation and misuse. Many
things that are formally legal may not (an should not) be acceptable. This
is also true with the ICZN. During the discussion on the validity of
electronic publication of descriptions of new taxa (and other nomenclatural
acts) a while, many tried to prove that it was perfectly legal since the
Code did not list EP of what does not constitute the publication. However,
as I pointed out at that time, the EP did not exist at the time when the
Code was adopted, and therefore its provision could not be applied to EP.
This is just another example of how law can be misinterpreted.

In the example of Barry M. O'Connor, the author used the weakness of some
provisions of the ICZN to his advantage. Although everything
might be formally legal, such action should not be accepted, and it is a
duty of editors and reviewers not to allow such works to be published (when
possible, of course).

I think that this should be also applied to the case mentioned by Robin
Leech in his original posting. Although there was no formal disagreement
with the Code, the manuscript could be greatly improved by illustrating the
female and providing a diagnosis of the male, and, perhaps should not be
accepted until such changes are made.

However, referencing a previously published illustration can be perfectly
acceptable, if an adequate description based on existing specimens is
provided. In my example with the drawing of an undescribed species of
Holcencyrtus in the  "Annotated Keysto the Genera of Nearctic Chalcidoidea
(Hymenoptera)", I may describe the new species based on the material I have
in my possession, fix the Holotype, provide (if I chose) necessary
illustrations, and indicate, that the habitus view of the species can be
found in the above book. The illustration does not have to be necessarily
based on the specimens inluded in the type series, and I do not have to in
it include the specimen on which the illustrstion was based. This, I think,
would be legal and acceptable.


Andrey Sharkov

------- Thu, 29 May 1997 13:14:14 -0600 Robin Leech wrote:

>Hi Taxacomers,
>The situation below is scary to me.
>Robin Leech
>On Thu, 29 May 1997, Barry M. OConnor wrote:
>> At 11:51 AM 5/29/97, Andrey Sharkov wrote:
>> >As to the second part of your question, there can be other situations when a
>> >published illustration of an undescribed taxon may exist.
>> One situation which is problematic, but legal under the ICZN, is to name a
>> new species on the basis of one of those illustrations of an undescribed
>> taxon.  A while back, an acarologist named some of the mites illustrated in
>> Krantz's Manual of Acarology as new species, simply reprinting Krantz's
>> figures (he did, by the way, name several of them "krantzi").  When asked,
>> he indicated that the holotypes were the specimens originally seen by
>> Krantz, although the describing author never saw them.
>> Barry M. OConnor                phone: (313) 763-4354
>> Museum of Zoology               FAX: (313) 763-4080
>> University of Michigan          e-mail: bmoc at umich.edu
>> Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079  USA
Andrey Sharkov
Associate Curator                     Phone: (614) 292-2730
Department of Entomology        FAX: (614) 292-7774
Museum of Biodiversity             INTERNET:  Sharkov.1 at osu.edu
The Ohio State University
1315 Kinnear Rd.
Columbus, OH 43212

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