protologues & higher taxa

B.J.Tindall bti at DSMZ.DE
Wed Jun 19 08:44:25 CDT 2002

At 02:21 18.6.2002 -1000, Richard Pyle wrote:
Again I reveal my ignorance of the ICBN and
>Bacteriological codes.....but how high up the rank list do they encompass?
>Do they also stop at family?
Bacteriology really "hangs out of the window" and goes as far as class.

>Tom Lammers wrote:
>> Think of "protologue"  as nomenclatural "enabling legislation;"  it is the
>> published document that brings a name into existence, that
>> permits it to be
>> used rationally.  It includes but is not limited to the original
>> description/diagnosis, type designation, name, classification,
>> illustration, etc.   Bear in mind the etymology: "first discourse" -- that
>> is exactly what it is: the first discourse on this name.
>I guess this may be another case where my (scant) knowledge of the ICBN Code
>fails me....but my understanding of the ICZN code is that the "original
>description" (protologue) is more or less unambiguously dictated by the
>Articles in the Code:  it either meets the criteria (of the relevant year)
>for nomenclatural "availability", or it does not.  But now that I think of
>it, a nomenclatural database ought to also track "unavailable" names as
>well -- so perhaps your point (if I read it right) that a protologue may or
>may not constitute the "enabling" of an IC_N-compliant name, only further
>underscores its appropriateness for my application.
>> As such, rank is irrelevant.  ANY name will have a protologue, a first
>> discourse by which (in the eyes of the relevant Code) that name first came
>> into existence.
The idea to adopt the term protolgue in bacteriology came during
discussions with botanists - thank you gentlemen. However, the protologue
as I think we discussed it was not the whole publication, but only those
pages on which the proposal of name, derivation, authors, cahracteristics
etc. were stated. This would mean in a large work the protologue for each
taxon would start and end on different pages. Perhaps someone in botany
would correct me if I am wrong.

>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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