protologues & higher taxa

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 18 15:42:42 CDT 2002

Dear All,
     I think protolog(ue), however one wants to spell it, would be useful in
zoology.  I'm not sure I understand why Christian thinks we "should" drop
the terminal "ue".  If American botanists use the spelling protologue (or do
they still?), why shouldn't American zoologists do likewise?  It would also
differentiate it from the internet term "protolog".  But I guess the exact
spelling is a minor detail.
     But more importantly, I am just wondering how high in the Linnean
hierarchy the term protologue would (or should) be used.  Its greatest
utility would be at species and generic levels, and perhaps also at family
level.  Should it be used for higher level taxa as well (phylocoders are
apparently going to use it for all taxa in their rankless system)?
     For example, would Linnaeus' 1758 classification of "Insecta" (roughly
equivalent to today's Arthropoda) be the protologue of taxon Insecta?
          ------ Ken
P.S.  Do botanists refer to protologues for taxa above the ordinal level (or
even much for ordinal and familial taxa)?
>From: Richard Pyle <deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG>
>Reply-To: Richard Pyle <deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG>
>Subject: Re: Basionym in Zoology?
>Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 14:26:04 -1000
>Many, MANY thanks to all who took the time to respond, both on and off the
>list!  This has been a very useful exercise for me.  In my original post, I
>probably put too much emphasis on the "circumscription" (taxon concept)
>of the word I was looking for.  As explained in my follow-up post, the main
>reasons that I want to identify those Assertions representing original
>descriptions have to do almost entirely with nomenclatural bits of data,
>rather than circumscription bits -- which is why I was leaning toward
>"Basionym" as a familiar term that more or less captures the notion of an
>"original description".
>However, based on the feedback I received, I'm now leaning heavily toward
>using 'Protologue', instead of 'Basionym'.  It seems to carry the same
>implication of "original description", without the baggage of implying
>nomenclature exclusively.  Would any Zoologists object to thinking of the
>original descriptions of their taxa  as 'protologues'? How about microbial
>Thanks again for the prompt & helpful feedback!
>Richard L. Pyle
>Ichthyology, Bishop Museum
>1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
>Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
>email: deepreef at
>"The opinions expressed are those of the sender, and not necessarily those
>of Bishop Museum."

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