nomina nuda

Hendrik Segers hendrik.segers at RUG.AC.BE
Thu Nov 15 08:50:05 CST 2001

Dear all,

Christian thompson wrote:

> There are today many way to "publish"
> information. Information posted on the WWW / Internet is "published". I
> noted that the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature does not
> defined the definition of "published" except in its own sphere of
> etc.


> Under the ICZN a nomen nudum (see the glossary) is a Latin term for a name
> that fails to conform to the requirement of the Code (Arts. 11 & 12 or 11
> 13, etc.). So, any "scientific" name "published" that does not meet ICZN
> standards is a nomen nudum.

Obviously. But when it comes to zoological nomenclature, it's the ICZN that
sets the rules. Hence, names or nomenclatural acts published (in the
everyday sense) on WWW/Internet are not published in the sense of the ICZN,
thus the definition of nomen nudum (a term that only makes sense ;-) under
the Code) does not apply to them. Moreover, citing webnames in classically
published works does result in these names becoming nomina nuda. This gives
them some (little, fortunately) nomenclatural relevance, creates confusion
hence unstability, and should therefore be avoided.


Dr. H e n d r i k  S e g e r s
Lab. Animal Ecology, Zoogeography and Nature Conservation
Dept. Biology, Ghent University
K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35
B-9000 Gent Belgium

tel.: +32 (0) 9 264 52 54
fax: +32 (0) 9 264 53 43
e-mail: Hendrik.Segers at

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