[Taxacom] Type of Vetularctos inopinatus

gerarus at westnet.com.au gerarus at westnet.com.au
Sun Jan 18 22:41:37 CST 2009


The ICZN explicitly forbids the use of taxa based on hybrid specimens (Article 23.8 states that "A species-group name established for an animal later found to be a hybrid [Art. 17] must not be used as the valid name for either of the parental species, even if it is older than all other available names for them. Such a name may enter into homonymy", while Article 1.3.3 explicitly excludes names based on hybrid specimens from the provisions of the code).

As for how to list such a name in synonymies, I wouldn't think it could be made a synonym of either parent exclusively. I suppose it would be a little like an agreed _nomen dubium_ - unable to be used, but unable to be formally synonymised with anything else.

    Cheers,

        Christopher Taylor

Christopher Taylor
Dept of Environmental Biology
Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U1987
Perth
WA 6845
Australia

http://catalogue-of-organisms.blogspot.com


----- Original Message -----
From: "Kenneth Kinman" <kennethkinman at webtv.net>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Monday, 19 January, 2009 11:55:07 AM GMT +08:00 Perth
Subject: [Taxacom] Type of Vetularctos inopinatus

Dear All,
       I was listening to a program on PBS TV tonight about polar bears
and grizzly bears.  They mentioned a natural hybrid between these two
species discovered back in 1864 (which  was later named as a new species
AND genus, Vetularctos inopinatus Merriam, 1918).          
       Anyway, I have it listed in my own 1977 mammal catalog (from
which the 1st Edition of our book "Mammal Species of the World",
Honacki, Kinman & Koeppl, was derived) as a synonym of Ursus horribilis.
However, I now wonder since it is a hybrid between species, whether this
hybrid might actually be better listed as a synonym of Ursus maritimus.
I assume it might depend on whether this hybrid's father was a grizzly
or a polar bear?                 
      Either way, would the holotype (name-bearing type) of this synonym
(inopinatus) be considered some kind of isotype?  Or does its hybrid
nature disqualify it as a type at all?  
         -----Ken Kinman


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