Basionym/Protologue -- One more question

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Mon Jul 1 09:19:36 CDT 2002

Many thanks to all who have endured this thread (as lengthy and perhaps
tedious as it has become).  I have learned a great deal about the ICBN Code
and how it is generally interpreted, and I'm quite confident that I now have
the answer I originally set out to find (i.e., the word 'basionym' more
correctly meets my database-design needs, than does 'protologue').  However,
there is one fundamental discrepancy in the replies I have received, both
on- and off-list, which I can most easily summarize as follows...

Given the following citations of taxon names:

Xxxxxx yyyyyy Jones (1805)


Zzzzzz yyyyyy (Jones) Smith 1810

I gather we would all agree that there is only one Basionym here (Xxxxxx
yyyyyy Jones (1805)).  The question is, how many, or two?
Some of the replies indicate one (i.e., only the one associated with the
Basionym); whereas other replies indicate two (one for the Basionym, plus
one for each subsequent new combination).

Related to this is how we each tend to use the word "name".  I tend to use
it in terms of the "terminal" epithet only; not the full-context
combination.  For example, using the above, I would say there is only one
"name" (yyyyyy), the Basionym of which places it in the context of genus
Xxxxxx; and the later Smith (1810) publication places the *same* name in the
context of Genus Zzzzzz.  However, I know many others use the word "name" in
reference to the full-context name, and would thus interpret the above as
*two separate* 'names'. Perhaps this semantic difference lies at the heart
of a lot of the confusion?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG]On Behalf Of
> John McNeill
> Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2002 4:13 AM
> Subject: Re: Basionym/Protologue -- One more question
> I have been travelling and won't pretend to have followed the
> full course of this extrraordinarily lengthy basionym/protologue
> debate, so I may be repeating what others have said.
> "Protologue" is just a convenient word to describe the
> documentation around the publication of the name of a new taxon.
> As such it is defined, but what matters in practice is not the
> precise definition of terms like protologue and basonym, but what
> they indicate in terms of the typification of the name or names involved.
> John McNeill
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> -----------------------------
> John McNeill, Director Emeritus, Royal Ontario Museum;
>     Honorary Associate ,Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
> Mailing address:  Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, Scotland, U.K.
> Telephone:    +44-131-248-2912;  fax: +44-131-248-2901
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