Basionym in Zoology?

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Sun Jun 16 09:38:53 CDT 2002

Hi James,

> > I see two problems with using this term for my application, one trivial,
> I don't think your first one is trivial at all. :-)

Yes, I agree that the differences between taxon names and and taxon concepts
are far from trivial (as I acknowledged) -- but in this context, the use of
the term does not, in my mind, relate to those differences.  In my
application, the term will be needed primarily in reference to the
nomenclatorial components of the original description (because the
significance of an original description relates more to the nomenclature
side, than the taxon concept side).  The reason that the concept/name
distinction comes into play at all in this particular case, is that the
underlying record in the assertion table represents both a (potential)
concept, and an application of a name to that concept.  My reason for
"flagging" those Assertions that also happen to represent original
descriptions of names, has to do much more with managing the nomenclatural
components of the original description, than the taxon circumscription
components of the original description (the latter of which doesn't really
bear any special significance over and above subsequent Assertions).  Thus,
a term that implies "nomenclature" would not necessarily be inappropriate
for my intended use.

> I'm not sure whether it is "restricted", but it is not included in
> ICZN.  If you use basonym in zoological pbulications, some readers
> would not understand its meaning.

I agree -- but I don't see this term ever spilling over into where a
"consumer" of the data would see it.  Perhaps a user of the database would
see it, though, so maybe I'll alias the concept with "Original Description"
on the user-interface forms.  However, from a data model perspective, I'm
looking for a name for the table that identifies the subset of Assertions
that represent original descriptions of taxon names.

> I've ever see confusion between
> botanical basionym and microbial basonym also.

Not sure I follow here -- do you mean that there is confusion between
botanical and microbial basionyms -- or that there is no confusion?

> > 2) Would there be another term (besides "Original Description")
> that I might
> > consider for this purpose?
> If you do not need to restrict to "original", secundum (or sec.) has
> been proposed by Berendsohn (1995? one of his papaers in TAXON).

I'll have another look at Walter's paper, but I need a term that
*specifically* implies *original* description (as opposed to subsequent
referals, first revisions, new combinations, etc.).

Thanks for the prompt feedback!


P.S. Earlier today I tried to access the Nomencurator website, but it seems
to be down....?

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