[Taxacom] New species of the future

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Tue Oct 29 19:01:25 CDT 2013

On 10/29/13 4:14 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> On the other hand, although incorrect latinization is not a problem 
> per se, gender disagreement might be, even for an original 
> combination? Since cavernicola is gender invariant, it should be 
> spelled cavernicola in combination with any generic name, including 
> Eupolybothrus.
Nope. Original spelling can't be overruled for this, because 
"cavernicolus" cannot be assumed to be a noun; the authors' comments 
apparently indicate it is an adjectivized form. If the original 
combination had used "cavernicola" instead, in the absence of any 
statements from the author(s), THEN it would be invariant.
> 32.3. Preservation of correct original spelling. The correct original 
> spelling of a name is to be preserved unaltered, except where it is 
> mandatory to change the suffix or the gender ending under Article 34 
> <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?nfv=&article=34> 
> (for treatment of emendations and incorrect subsequent spellings see 
> Articles 32.5 
> <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?nfv=&article=32#5>, 
> 33.2 
> <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?nfv=&article=33#2>, 
> 33.3 
> <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?nfv=&article=33#3>, 
> 33.4 
> <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?nfv=&article=33#4>)
What 32.3 refers to here (explicitly) is Article 34, which defines what 
happens when a species is moved into a different genus (or rank). This 
does not refer to changing the spelling while it is still in its 
original genus, though that is (very occasionally) necessary, when 
authors don't do their homework and are mistaken about the gender of the 
genus in which they are naming taxa.

This is why we need an exhaustive registry of names; it should not be 
required for every taxonomist to be a Latin scholar. You should be able 
to simply look up any given genus in a list, and see what gender it is, 
who the author was, what its type species is, what the originally 
included taxa were, etc., and likewise look up any given species in a 
list, and see whether it is a noun or an adjective, what its type 
depository is, what the type locality is, who the author was, etc. Once 
ONE person has recorded these parameters, there needs to be a mechanism 
by which the record is SHARED (at which point it would be reviewed for 
accuracy), and once reviewed, it would be archived publicly into 
perpetuity, instead of forcing each taxonomist from now until the end of 
time to do the same detective work over and over again. To some extent, 
this function is part of the Lists of Accepted Names (LANs) presently 
built into the Code (Article 79), but the mechanism is FAR too 
cumbersome to be practical given the scope of what is needed. What we 
want, ideally, is for the LANs to contain every name ever published, but 
the way Article 79 is now written, that is not possible. A resource like 
ZooBank might serve this purpose, but (as noted in the other unwieldy 
thread) having redundant lists is wasteful, and ZooBank does not 
represent a definitive Commission-sanctioned list, as the LANs do.


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

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