was gender now ZN types

Ron at Ron at
Tue Aug 20 01:51:50 CDT 2002

Neal Evenhuis wrote:

 >The true foundation of nomenclature is type
>specimens, nothing more.

You are mixing "taxonomy" with "nomenclature". In taxonomy, the
specimen is the true foundation. In nomenclature, the original
literature is. Nomenclature does not need a specimen. Indeed, there
are many "species" for which types do not exist--and that fact does
not invalidate the species name. In those cases, the truth of the
"name" can then only be known from the literature.

I disagree.  While systematics, taxonomy and nomenclature are distinct
entities, it is nonetheless true that they have an interdependent
functionality.  Without organisms there is no systematics or taxonomy and
without taxonomy there is no nomenclature.  Nomenclature is but the
language of taxonomy.  In the ZN code, for a name to be available it must
meet the conditions of Chapter 4.  which is made up of Articles 10 - 20 and
any other provisions of the code connected to these provisions.

I frequently hear that "types" are not required for names to be available.
The argument is always that for many species group taxa a type does not
exist.  One thinks this to be especially true for very old names.   So
let's look at old names and new names.

On page XXVII #2 states that for all future names to be available after
1999 there _must_ be the fixation of a holotype or syntypes.  That takes
care of new names and establishes that the  "foundation of nomenclature is
type specimens" from her forward.

The short and sweet answer to the older names is found (for me) in Article
74.4.  This article is under the Article on types fixed subsequently
from...  Now to do this "subsequently from"  it necessitaties that a prior
basis (type) already exists.  In 74.4 we see that an illustraton or
description is to be _treated_ as the designation of a specimen.   Even it
the specimen no longer exists.   Simply put, this tells us that for a
nomenclatorial epithet to be available or valid there has to be some actual
organic specimen/material on which that name was/is based.   And while this
material may now be no more existent, the illustration or verbal
description of _it_   _is it_.

This takes us back to Chapter 13 and the Principle of Typification.  I
quote, " Each nominal taxon in the family, genus or species groups has
actually _or potentially_ a name bearing type.  The fixation of the
name-bearing type of a nominal taxon provides the _objective_ standard of
reference for the application of the name _it bears_."   The emphasis of
course in mine.  We establish here that the "foundation of nomenclature is
type specimens" for older names. Specimen bear names, names do not bear

This is why when dealing with ambiguious older names and now affixing them
properly amid the newly discoverd sister taxa it is _required_ to establish
the _objective_ undestanding of that name by locating its original type.
Where illustrations or verbal descriptions will render this with certainly
and clairity, these old illustratoins or descriptions are considered the
"types".   When this does not suffice and no original type specimens can be
located, then neotypes are to be designated is needed.

Common sense tells us that if "types" (actual organisms) are not the basis
for nomenclature then someone could just make something up and call it Aus
wus and we would have to accept it as an available name.   This is why when
in researching old names if we find no specimens and are totally unable to
correlate the past illustration or description to any know organisms that
those names are to be considered nomen nudum as they do not meet Articles
12 & 13.  How is that?  Both of these refer back to Article 11.  Article
11.5 states that to be available an new name must be "valid for a taxon".
That is, there must be an actual taxon that the name is based specifically
on.  See also the example there.  It is not enough to just put out a name
Conus moluccensis... It must be (A) put out in the right type of
publication and (B) _applied_ specifically to an organism.  (A valid name
and a valid taxon are two different things.)

"There are many 'species' for which types do not exist" was the statement.
No. There are many species for which _organic_ "type" specimens do not
exist.  But the illustrations and descriptions these names are based on are
treated as (become) type specimens - as the representation of the original
organism.  Bottom line? "...true foundation of nomenclature is type
specimens, nothing more."

Ron Gatrelle

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