[Taxacom] Fw: Re: Haplorhini or Haplo(r)rhini?

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Fri Apr 24 06:36:31 CDT 2009

From: "Michael Heads" <michael.heads at yahoo.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2009 11:59 PM

An amusing story: in 1996 while revising New Zealand Olearia I found that
the old, well-known name O. hectori is 'incorrect' - Cicero would have
always used hectoris for the genitive of the famous hero's name.
Unfortunately, the New Zealand biota is full of hectori's - a dozen plants,
whales, etc. I wrote to a famous nomenclaturalist suggesting that 'hectori'
could just be left as is, rather than creating new synonyms - the ultimate
taxonomic sin. He equivocated and I used 'hectori', but when the next code
of nomenclature appeared, I saw that a reference to hectoris had been added
and the 'correct' spelling made compulsory... More name changes, more
synonyms, more confusion...

Oh my, time for some missionary work. There is indeed a reference to
/hectoris/ in the /ICBN/. However, the provision does not prescribe a
mandatory spelling change, but rather the reverse. An epithet originally
spelled /hectoris/ (should anybody ever publish one) is not to be corrected
to /hectorii/ (or whatever the personal name plus the mandatory termination
would be), but left as it is, being a classical genitive (Rec. 60C.2).
However, this did not come in with the 2000, /St.Louis Code/, but with the
1956, /Paris Code/.

This is not to say that the spelling /hectori/ (from the surname Hector) is
not to be corrected: it must indeed be corrected, namely to /hectorii/ (Rec. 
60C.1). This requirement, also, came in with the 1956, /Paris Code/. The 
/ICBN/ does change over time, but the tempo of change is nowhere near as 
fast as it is sometimes made out to be ...


Of course this only applies to the botanical names dedicated to Sir James
Hector (1834-1907, see
the zoological names should be left in their Original Spelling.

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