[Taxacom] Diagnoses of higher monotypic taxa

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Fri Feb 25 08:26:04 CST 2011


I feel myself agreeing with you that for availability of a genus a
description does not need to be not necessary, the important thing is that
it has a type species. Any subsequent author can place species inside for
completely different reasons, entirely regardless of why the genus had
originally been established as revealed by its original description.

What I am writing here is against Art. 13.1 of the ICZN Code. Since 1930 a
genus must have a description, it is only exceptionally allowed to
establish a new genus without description (new replacement names, or if
only one new species is included).

So if you see a zoological genus established for a species that is not
new, and the genus has no description, the name was not made available at
this occasion.

The ICZN Code has this recommendation:

Recommendation 13C. Individual descriptions and definitions. Authors are
urged to avoid publishing combined descriptions and definitions. Each new
nominal taxon should be differentiated from other taxa at the same rank.

> This discussion obviously only makes sense within the Linnean hierarchy,
> which can be questioned totally.

One exception. In the Linnean nomenclature we need a generic name for each
species. Describing a species alone is not possible, you must also define
a genus. Describing a family is not needed. A genus does not need to have
a family.
Recommendation 13C does not like the idea that a genus is compared with a
family as its sister group. But I think taxonomists should feel free
decide which kind of classification and system to use on their own
responsibility and taxonomic judgement, and should not be forced to apply
a hierarchical system only because the ICZN intends to force them to do

If you like to have a genus as a sister group of a superfamily, and if you
happen to call both "clade", this should be allowed.

These are my thoughts.


More information about the Taxacom mailing list