code of nomenclature question

Ron at Ron at
Wed Jul 27 01:22:51 CDT 2005

----- Original Message -----
From: "Karin Kiontke" <kk52 at NYU.EDU>
Subject: code of nomenclature question

> Hi everybody,
> I have a couple of questions regarding nomenclature rules (I don't
> have the latest version of the code at hand):
> 1. When transferring a species from a genus to a subgenus, am I still
> supposed to adjust the species epithet according to the gender of the
> genus? Someone told me that this isn't done anymore.
There is no "transfer" when a subgenus is interpolated between the species
and genus names.  The species is still part of the genus and must match the
gender of that genus per the current Code - except where exempted by the
Code.  If the subgenus name is not interpolated than it is being used as a
genus!  Aus bus is not a subgenus and species combination.  Gus (Aus) bus
is a subgenus combination

> 2. I want to talk about groups of species inside of a genus but
> without creating subgenera. I am using currently terms like "Elegans
> group of Caenorhabditis". Do any of the rules apply to such names
> with regard to capitalizing and italicizing?
Generic (inc. sub generic) and specific (inc. subspecific)  names are
always to be italicized.  Species epithets are not to be capitalized.
Thus, one should not start a sentence as "Elegans group..."  It should be
"The elegans group..."  or "In the elegans group..." etc.   Further, the
Principle of Binominal Nomenclature (Article 5) states that a scientific
name of a species consists of two _parts_ , "the first being the generic
name and the second being the specific name."   Thus, "elegans" is not a
proper scientific name all by itself.  Now, we often write like this in our
papers, but it would probably be best to say "the (Subgenus) elegans group
of Caenorhabditis...."  The parenthesis are necessary to show it is a

Ron Gatrelle

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