Duplicate taxonomic names

B.J.Tindall bti at DSMZ.DE
Fri Jun 3 13:10:08 CDT 2005

Since John, didn't mention the prokaryotes in detail in his mail I can add
that the bacterial-botanical homonyms cover about 100 generic names
(although one should note that some of these are the same organism when
bacteria were still considered to be plants and the botanical code has
retained them to "block" further use in botany). The bacterial-zoological
homonyms also cover about 100 generic names, but it is more difficult to
track the authors - dates - publications for some of the zoological names.

The Bacteriological Code now specifically forbids the creation of new
inter-Code homonyms.

Problems do arise with the use of some names when they refer to important
pathogenic bacteria as well as animal or plant taxa:
Salmonella and Kingella being two examples.

At 06:26 3.6.2005 -0400, John McNeill wrote:
>I have just noticed that the url for the 1996 Taxacom archive which is
referred to below is outdated.  It is now:
>John McNeill
>>>> John McNeill <johnm at rom.on.ca> 06/02/05 5:28 PM >>>
>There have been a number of communications in Taxacom over the years on
inter-Code homonymy, and I refer to a couple of very early ones in a paper
that I wrote in 1997 (not, so far as I know, on the web, so I copy a
portion below):
>McNeill, J.  1997.  Key issues to be addressed.  In: D.L. Hawksworth
(ed.),  The new bionomenclature: the BioCode debate.  Biology International
Special Issue 34: 17-40.
>This discussed inter-Code homonymy briefly and gave a few examples (see
extract of the relevant portion below).  It also included a table, courtesy
of Paul Kirk (P.Kirk at CABI.org) who may well have a more up-to-date account.
 The table is only about 22K and I can forward it to anyone who wants it
but Taxacom does not accept attachments. From the table it appears that 13%
of all botanical generic names are homonyms of zoological names and that
this figure is not very different for names in current use in botanical
nomenclature.  What is not known is the percentage of these names in
current use in zoology.  Data on names of prokaryotes are also included in
the Table.
>The relevant text from my paper is appended.
>John McNeill
>John McNeill, Rapporteur-général, Nomenclature Section, XVII IBC, Vienna,
>Director Emeritus, Royal Ontario Museum;
>   Honorary Associate, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
>Mailing address:  Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, Scotland, U.K.
>Telephone:    +44-131-248-2912;  fax: +44-131-248-2901
>Home office:  +44-162-088-0651;  fax: +44-162-088-0342
>e-mail: jmcneill at rbge.org.uk (mail to johnm at rom.on.ca is also read)
>Relevant text from McNeill (1997) -- see above.
>Most obviously, the independence of the nomenclature determined by each of
the Codes can and does lead to extensive homonymy, that is, the occurrence
of names spelled in exactly the same way for organisms governed by
different Codes.  The one limitation on independency rests with the
Bacteriological Code, which excludes independency of nomenclature between
it and the names of "algae and fungi" and "protozoa" (Prin. 2).  In
consequence, generic names such as Microcyclus and Pirella, later homonyms
of fungal generic names governed by the ICBN, have been replaced by names
(Ancylobacter and Pirellula) that would not otherwise have precedence.
>Table 2 provides a summary of the extent of generic homonymy as determined
on the basis of the electronic databases of genera of plants, animals and
bacteria.  From this, it can be seen that although nearly 9,000 botanical
generic names are to be found as genera in the Zoological Record database
(13.6% of the total number of botanical genera), only 3,554 of these appear
to be in current use in botany (only some 5%).  Many well-known botanical
and zoological genera are known to be homonymous with names governed by the
other Code; some examples of vascular plant genera include Arenaria L.
(1753) (sandwort, Caryophyllaceae) and Arenaria Brisson (1760) (turnstone,
Aves: Scolopacidae), Ficus L. (1753) (fig, Moraceae) and Ficus Bolten
(1798) (Mollusca), Oenanthe L. (1753) (evening primrose, Onagraceae), and
Oenanthe Pallas (1771) (wheatear, Aves: Muscicapidae), Pieris D. Don (1834)
(Ericaceae) and Pieris Schrank (1801) (cabbage white butterfly,
Lepidoptera: Pieridae),  Paul Dessart, Bruxelles
(dessart at D5100.kbinirsnb.be) (pers. comm.), as part of an ongoing
comparison of the botanical and zoological Codes, has accumulated a list of
more than 140 homonymous pairs of generic names in current use (see
archives of TAXACOM at csma.Berkeley.edu for September 1996 at
http//www.keil.ukans.edu/archive/taxacom.html), but the overall extent of
potential confusion in terms of the size of the genera involved and the
presence or absence of homonyms at the species level remains to be examined
in detail.
>The only example currently known of homonymy between Codes at the species
level is of the vascular plant Pieris japonica (Thunb.) G. Don (1834)
(Ericaceae) and the butterfly, Pieris napi subsp. japonica Shirozu (1952)
(Lepidoptera: Pieridae), which are homonymous because of the co-ordinate
status provision of the ICZN, by which the publication of the epithet
japonica at subspecific level implies the co-ordinate publication of Pieris
japonica Shirozu. (Cf. Mary E. Petersen (mepetersen at zmuc.ku.dk) in the
September 1996 archives of the TAXACOM Listserver (cf.
http//www.keil.ukans.edu/archive/taxacom.html).  The issue of the overall
extent of homonymy between Codes clearly needs to be an important priority
for the International Committee on Bionomenclature.
>John McNeill, Director Emeritus, Royal Ontario Museum;
>    Honorary Associate, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
>Mailing address:  Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, Scotland, U.K.
>Telephone:    +44-131-248-2912;  fax: +44-131-248-2901
>Home office:  +44-162-088-0651;  fax: +44-162-088-0342
>e-mail: jmcneill at rbge.org.uk (johnm at rom.on.ca is also read)
>>>> Paul van Rijckevorsel <dipteryx at FREELER.NL> 06/02/05 1:59 PM >>>
>I think it came up more than once, e.g.
>September 1996: Same genus/Different Kingdoms
>Best, Paul
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Richard Jensen" <rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU>
>Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 7:19 PM
>Subject: Duplicate taxonomic names
>> As I recall, sometime during the past year there were some postings to
>taxacom providing examples of identical botanical and zoological taxonomic
>names.  Can anyone direct me to the appropriate thread?  I've been
>> searching the archives, but I don't know exactly what search terms to use.
>> Thanks in advance,
>> Dick J
>> --
>> Richard J. Jensen              | tel: 574-284-4674
>> Department of Biology      | fax: 574-284-4716
>> Saint Mary's College         | e-mail: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
>> Notre Dame, IN 46556    | http://www.saintmarys.edu/~rjensen

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