new names for already described taxon

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at FMPPR.FMNH.ORG
Thu May 14 06:28:40 CDT 1998

At 10:09 AM 05-14-98 +1000, Karen L. Wilson wrote:

>One is at liberty to choose a new (plant) epithet rather than use an existing
>varietal or subspecific epithet that is applicable to the same taxon. However,
>in that case, the varietal or subspecific name is NOT the basionym!  And the
>species would be regarded as a sp. nov.; the holotype could be the same as for
>the lower-ranked name but equally the author could choose a new type altogether
>(and often that is a good reason for treating the name of the taxon in this
>if the type of the lower name is poor or ambiguous in some way).

Art. 58.1 gives us three choices in such cases:

(1) describe a totally new species, based on its own type, and incidentally
cite the infrasp. name as a heterotypic synonym.

(2) provide an avowed substitute name (nomen novum), based on the same type.
I guess technically it is not correct to describe the original name as the
basionym of the nom. nov., but it is certainly an analagous situation, as
they are homotypic.  Usually the "basionym" in these cases is referred to as
the "replaced name".

(3) provide a new combination based on the original name; these of course
are homotypic.

Which of these to do is entirely at the authors discretion, assuming there
are no legitimate names with priority


Thomas G. Lammers

Classification, Nomenclature, Phylogeny and Biogeography
of the Campanulaceae, s. lat.

Department of Botany
Field Museum of Natural History
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496 USA

e-mail:    tlammers at
office:          312-922-9410 ext. 317 (voice-mail)
home:     630-759-4280
fax:                312-427-2530


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                                           --- Henry J. Kaiser

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