[Taxacom] Authorities for trinomials

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sun Aug 27 07:40:47 CDT 2006

> My hat off to Richard Pyle! Nobody else could manage a 
> complete change of topic this smoothly and make it look this good!

This wasn't my intent -- I promise!  :-)

> Still, I get the impression that in some cases the only 
> problem is that the name is not formally validated. That is: 
> the name is used in the literature, there is a specimen 
> (equivalent to a type) and it applies unambiguously to a 
> particular taxon. Maybe it is worth doing something about 
> such names. The ICBN (in its upcoming edition) is going to 
> offer botanists the option of submitting dubious names to the 
> appropriate Permanent Committee for a judgement that these 
> dubious names are not validly published (and thus do not 
> exist, to the Code). Perhaps it is time to start thinking if 
> it would be desirable to include an option to do the reverse 
> and make it possible to submit 'invalid names' for a 
> judgement. If the relevant conditions are met and it would 
> help stabilise the nomenclature the Committee could recommend 
> extending the status of being validly published to that name. 


That all sounds fine -- but my original point was that there are names of
interest to biologists, that may not enter the realm of the Codes -- and not
all of them are easily discarded as "vernacular" names.  Certainly
biologists are interested in names above the rank of family, even though
such names are not governed by the Codes.  I gave other examples of
"quasi-scientific" names (e.g., "Aus sp.23") that the Codes don't "care
about", but that biologists do care about (and need to keep track of).  I
think that invalid/unavailable names fall into this category as well -- that
is, names of interest to biologists that may be effectively ignored by the

In any case we don't necessarily need to change the Codes to accommodate
such names in an "official" way (unless the keepers of the Code see a need
to do so). But we *do* need to keep track of them in some form.  And in the
case of invalid/unavailable names, "keeping track" is certainly assisted by
the inclusion of authorships in some standardized/conventional way -- which
brings us back to the issue that originally started this thread.


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