When (animal) type genus is a subgenus

Ron at Ron at
Thu Apr 26 00:00:38 CDT 2001

    All valid and available names are "always" affixed to an individual
specimen - the name bearing type. The status of this individual and the
organism it represents, may be "moved" over time by taxonomists up and
down, in and out, on/of various taxonomic rungs of the ladder - but the
organism, obviously, is always the same entity. It is the organism that is
important not its past, present, or future taxonomic compartment as a
subspecies or species in a genus or subgenus, family or subfamily. Thus, it
remains as the valid type, of what ever rank (grouping) any given worker
has validly designated it the type organism of.

For example a specimen may have originally been proposed as a type for a
mono species and new genus with two other species. At some point someone
designated it as the type of a family. If it is later discovered that it is
one of six subspecies of another species (but still in the same genus and
family) then the type's change in rank from species to subspecies
is -realigned- but it is still the type of the organism and the type of the
genus and family. Next, if it is also discovered later that it is part of a
subgenus (within the same genus and family it was designated type of) then
it is still the type of the organism and the genus and the family.  Now if
there eventually come to be 20 sister species and subspecies in the genus
it is type of, and it is discovered that the other 14 taxa are in a
different genus, then as the genus type, the 14 move out into a new or
another genus but it remains as it is THE organism the genus is based on.
Same for family.

Ranks change via new scientific information. Organisms remain the same.
When the specimen/organism is a type it always stays as such as long as its
movement is within the same group (species, genus, family). The higher the
rank it is a type of (i.e. a family) the less it moves and the others
around it move. As type of a family it will always be such, unless that
family is sunk to a subfamily, but it is still the type of the new
subfamily. I hope this is not confusing.   The key is not to think in terms
of names and rank, but organisms and their relationship.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Kinman" <kinman at HOTMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 11:00 PM
Subject: Re: When (animal) type genus is a subgenus

> Barry,
>       Whether the generic name involved is recognized as a full genus or
> subgenus (of another genus) is a matter of taxonomic opinion.  Therefore,
> see no reason that any particular classification regarding it as a
> (as opposed to a full genus) as being relevant to the validity of the
> name based upon it.  If the newest ICZN Code has any provisions that
> say anything different, I would be very surprised.  If the generic name
> question was invalid, then that would be a whole different matter.
>                 My 2 cents worth, Ken Kinman
> *********************************************************
> >From: Barry Roth <barry_roth at YAHOO.COM>
> >Reply-To: Barry Roth <barry_roth at YAHOO.COM>
> >Subject: When (animal) type genus is a subgenus
> >Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 17:20:40 -0700
> >
> >In zoological nomenclature, does the fact that the name-bearing type of
> >nominal family-group taxon (i.e., its "type genus") is classified as a
> >subgenus affect the validity of that family-group name (assuming the
> >family-group name is the earliest-proposed name based on a genus
> >to belong to the family, and otherwise meets the criteria of
> >
> >Does it make a difference if the type genus in question is classified as
> >subgenus of a genus which is the type genus of another, later-proposed,
> >family-group taxon?
> >
> >Thanks very much for help on this. I am unable to find the answer by
> >perusing the ICZN.
> >
> >Barry Roth
> >(hoping he has stated the problem clearly)
> >
> >
> >
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