[Taxacom] Terminology of trinomials

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 1 17:45:13 CST 2008

On 2008-01-01 08:12, Andy Mabbett wrote:
> I don't think it practical to have separate microformats for each Code

I don't think it's practical to have different comment delimiters for 
different programming languages and markups, but there you have it.

> (though I'm open to persuasion), so the thing to do is tease out the
> common ground and find, by looking at examples of what is already
> published (preferably on the web, as required by the microformats
> "process"), ways of dealing with any exceptions.

It seems to me that one purpose of a microformat is for people to 
actually use it. If it doesn't support all the infraspecific ranks of 
the Botanical Code, botanists won't use it. Even if the next 
International Botanical Congress managed to change the rules to collapse 
them all into subspecies, botanists still might not use it, because it 
wouldn't match historical data.

> but that would require the name of the rank (in this example,
> "subvarietas") to be published on the page.

In the case of the Botanical Code, it is; e.g. Eschscholzia californica 
subsp. mexicana, Lesquerella engelmannii var. ovalifolia.

Here is Article 24.1 of the ICBN, which shows that, whereas the name 
formally has only three parts, these categories may also be stacked:

24.1. The name of an infraspecific taxon is a combination of the name of 
a species and an infraspecific epithet. A connecting term is used to 
denote the rank.

Ex. 1. Saxifraga aizoon subf. surculosa Engl. & Irmsch. This taxon may 
also be referred to as Saxifraga aizoon var. aizoon subvar. brevifolia 
f. multicaulis subf. surculosa Engl. & Irmsch.; in this way a full 
classification of the subforma within the species is given, not only its 

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Director, I&IT Web Development                   +1 909 979 6371
University Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona

More information about the Taxacom mailing list