Botanical nomenclatural query

erast e.parmasto at ZBI.EE
Wed Apr 3 17:25:13 CST 2002

There are two somewhat different things
   1) new species (species nova),
   2) new taxon.
They are not exactly the same. In a new rank (of species) the former form or
variety is a new SPECIES. It was earlier described as a new taxon,
but not as a new species.
   When promoted to professor, a person is a new professor in faculty
(and an old employee of the University).
   Personally, I always (if possible) combined a variety, when it was assigned as a
species, indicating the original author of the taxon in parentheses.
It is a question of ethics, I think. Why it is as it is in the  ICBN,
I cannot understand. Anyway, we have to follow ICBN (and there are
things worse...).
   Erast Parmasto

Date:          Wed, 3 Apr 2002 07:13:24 -0600
Reply-to:      Thomas Lammers <lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU>
From:          Thomas Lammers <lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU>
Subject:       Re: Botanical nomenclatural query
To:            TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG

At 02:38 PM 4/2/02 -0700, you wrote:
>I think the point the OP is asking about now is this:  given the
>taxon has a new rank (species) in addition to a new name, why is
>the taxon not a new species?

Quite simply, because it is NOT a new species.

To elaborate, it is NOT a species that was previously unknown to science
and never before described.  The phrase "new species" means "new as in
never before seen," not "newly arrived in this rank."  This taxon HAS been
known and HAS been described.  It was merely assigned a rank different from
species at the time this was done.

If I am promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, no one
would regard me as a new employee of the university, would they?  If my
colleague marries and takes her husband's surname, we would not consider
her a new employee, would we?  Old Wine in New Skins.

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and biogeography
of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

Prof. Erast Parmasto
Institute of Zoology & Botany
181 Riia St.,  51014 Tartu, Estonia
Tel 372-7-383 027   Fax 372 -7-383 013

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