[Taxacom] Objective synonyms?

Curtis Clark lists at curtisclark.org
Sun May 30 22:35:06 CDT 2010

On 5/30/2010 6:30 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> Maybe you could briefly explain Francisco's view then, in your own 
> words, like I did?
I can contrast with botany, if that helps. (Imagine describing a 
kiwi--it's a lot easier if the person you are talking to has seen a bird.)

The botanical concept of basionym is key to the difference. /Encelia 
nutans/ and /Enceliopsis nutans/ are different names, based on the same 
type. The basionym, the name applied to the type when it was described, 
happens to be /Encelia nutans/. If I published a new combination /Geraea 
nutans/, it would be yet another name, based on the same type. Each of 
these names has a type, the type of the basionym. Because they are 
different names, with the same type, they are homotypic (nomenclatural, 
or objective) synonyms.

If I understand Francisco correctly, /Felis uncia/ is a nominal taxon; 
it has a type. What makes this different from a basionym is that 
/Panthera uncia/ and /Uncia uncia/ are the same name, under different 
combinations. A basionym is "A previously published legitimate 
name-bringing or epithet-bringing synonym from which a new name is 
formed for a taxon of different rank or position", but in zoology, a new 
name is not formed, merely a new combination.

So in botany, new combinations = new names, but in zoology (again if I 
interpret Francisco correctly), new combinations are the same name. This 
may seem trivial, but it has widespread enough implications to have 
caused all this chatter on Taxacom as people sorted it out. With luck, 
someone reading this will be in the position to see that the next 
edition of ICBN doesn'e equate nomenclatural synonym with the objective 
synonym of zoology (for which evidently no one has yet to give an example).

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

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