[Taxacom] Alle alle, or Alle alle alle?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Aug 16 15:37:45 CDT 2012

I agree entirely with Mark on this. A species with the nominotypical subspecies as the only subspecies is in fact a nonsense (like a coin with only one side!)
The Principle of Coordination, taken too literally, would actually generate an explosion of redundant names, i.e., what about Alle (Alle) alle alle ?! Since there is no actual restriction of the number of family-group categories between superfamily and genus, and creating one creates them all, well, you see the point...??

From: Mark Wilden <mark at mwilden.com>
To: TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Friday, 17 August 2012 6:06 AM
Subject: [Taxacom] Alle alle, or Alle alle alle?

On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 12:22 PM, Richard HARDWICK <rch at skynet.be> wrote:
>                                    Bruxelles, le 15-08-2012
>        "Accipiter  gentilis gentilis"
>        "Accipiter  nisus nisus"
>        "Acrocephalus  arundinaceus arundinaceus"
>    Question - to be taxonomically correct, in a text about Belgian birds,
>    ought I to be quoting the binomial  (as per the first list); or the
>      trinomial name (as per the second list)?

The binomial should be used, in my opinion. The only time the
nominotypical trinomial should be used is if there also exists a
different trinomial for a different subspecies.

By the Principle of Cooordination (ICZN 46), creating "Accipter
gentilis" creates "Accipter gentilis gentilis" (and vice versa) with
the same name-bearing type. Hence every species has at least one
subspecies. But when when there's only this one "formal" subspecies,
it serves no purpose to indicate it. Or so it seems to me.


Mark Wilden
Web Applications Developer
California Academy of Sciences


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