Unpublished botanical names (bis)

Guido at Guido at
Tue Oct 21 08:40:37 CDT 2003

Thanks to everyone who replied (here and off list) to my message on unpublished names.


Obviously there’s a lot to be said for referring to unpublished names in certain circumstances, although this is not in accordance with the current ICBN rules (because these names are not ‘available’ for use). 


Some mentioned arguments were:

- Referring to unpublished names could be necessary in conservation matters where waiting for the publication would be an irresponsible waste of time.

- It should be possible to put unpublished names explicitly in synonymy.

- Advertising unpublished names should be possible to point experts to these pending matters.


A proposal has been made to use ‘ms’ (manuscript) as an attribute when citing these names. The author himself might indicate by ’ms’ that he is working on it but when you find an unpublished name on an herbarium label it would be nearly impossibly to know whether it figures in some manuscript… The ‘ined.’ attribute is more general and says nothing else than that the name doesn’t figure among the published taxa of a particular genus (at this time).


Would you be in favour of ‘<genus> <species> ined.’ citations?

What do you think about the consequence that, citing ined. names in a regular publication, you will make ‘nomina nuda’ of these ‘nomina inedita’?


p.s. keep in mind that referring to unpublished names is already done nowadays (see online databases of some major herbaria) but due to the lack of regulations on this matter these names are mostly cited without any attribute, which just adds to the taxonomic confusion…
Dr. Guido Mathieu
Associate researcher
Ghent University
Department of Biology
Research Group Spermatophytes
K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35
B-9000 Gent
www.peperomia.net <http://www.peperomia.net/> 

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