[Taxacom] Identification key for subspecific or infrasubspecific rank of names following a binomen (ICZN Article 45.6)

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Thu Sep 27 15:27:52 CDT 2012


Steve Lingafelter wrote:

>As I was pulling my remaining hair out today trying to interpret Article
>45.6 and its subordinate parts, I was thinking that all the exceptions and
>qualifications could be handled better as a dichotomous key that could be
>used for making the determination of subspecies or infrasubspecies.
>
>Are my couplets correct and will this key work for the practical purpose
>of Article 45.6?
>
>___________________________________
>
>Identification key for subspecific or infrasubspecific rank of names
>following a binomen (ICZN Article 45.6)
>
>
>1a. Name includes the term "aberration", "ab.","morph", or some
>modification of those words..........Infrasubspecific (not available)
>1b. Name does not include the term "aberration", "ab.","morph", or some
>modification of those words..............2
>
>
>2a. Name was published after 1960..............3
>2b. Name was published before 1961..............4
>
>
>3a.  Author expressly used one of the terms "variety" or "form" (including
>use of the terms "var.", "forma", "v."and
>"f.")..............Infrasubspecific (not available)
>3b.  Author did not use one of the terms "variety" or "form" (including
>use of the terms "var.", "forma", "v." and
>"f.")...............Subspecific (available)
>
>4a. Author expressly used one of the terms "variety" or "form" (including
>the terms "var.", "forma","v." and "f.")...........5
>4b. Author did not expressly use one of the terms "variety" or "form"
>(including use of the terms "var.","forma", "v." and "f.")...............6
>
>5a.  Name was not expressly given infrasubspecific rank or the work did
>not indicate uambiguously that the name was
>infrasubspecific.............6
>5b. Name was expressly given infrasubspecific rank or the work indicates
>uambiguously that the name was
>infrasubspecific...............Infrasubspecific (not available)
>
>
>6a.  Name was adopted as valid name of a species or subspecies or treated
>as a senior homonym before 1985......Subspecific (available)
>6b.  Name was not adopted as valid name of a species or subspecies or
>treated as a senior homonym before 1985...Infrasubspecific (not
>available)

Speaking as an acting Commissioner...

There is a problem with this "key".

Names proposed prior to 1961 (couplet 2b) and for which the author 
used the terms "variety" or "form" (as in couplet 4a) are subspecific 
by default *unless* the author specified they were infrasubspecific 
(in which case they might still be subspecific following couplet 6). 
They do not have to have been adopted as valid by any subsequent 
workers to be subspecific under the default.

That is, you should change couplet 5a to read

"Name was not expressly given infrasubspecific rank or the work did 
not indicate uambiguously that the name was 
infrasubspecific.............Subspecific (available)"

and couplet 5b should take you to couplet 6.

Then it works properly.

I recently constructed and sent someone a similar "key" for issues 
relating to whether a species epithet is (or is not) adjectival. 
There has been some discussion about including such keys in the 
online version of the Code. Personally, I'm in favor of that, in 
addition to more examples.

Sincerely,
-- 

Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82




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