Family-group name when type genus is a synonym

Barry Roth barry_roth at YAHOO.COM
Wed Jul 17 09:42:38 CDT 2002

In zoology, when the name of a type genus of a nominal family-group taxon is considered to be a junior synonym of the name of another nominal genus, the family-group name is not to be replaced on that account alone (ICZN Art. 40.1).  However, if a family-group name was replaced before 1961 because of the synonymy of the type genus, the substitute name is to be maintained if it is in prevailing usage (Art. 40.2).

I interpret "was replaced" in Art. 40.2 to mean that a new family-group name was proposed subsequent to the placement of the type genus in synonymy and for the express purpose of replacing the family-group name based upon that genus.  (I.e., it is a "new replacement name (nomen novum)" in the meaning of the ICZN Glossary.)

I also interpret the Code to mean that a pre-existing family-group name based on the genus name that is the senior synonym, but is younger in date than the family group name based on the genus name that is the junior synonym, is not affected by Art. 40.2; and that in this case the provisions of Art. 40.1 alone apply.

In other words, replacement in Art. 40.2 refers to the proposal of a new name and not just institution of the use of an existing available name.

Am I correct?


Barry Roth

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