[Taxacom] New species of the future

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Tue Oct 29 19:44:18 CDT 2013

Well, the authors do say this much: EtymologyCavernicolus means “living in caves or caverns”, to emphasise that the species inhabits caves.
BUT LOOK! Art. 31.2: 
31.2. Agreement in gender. A species-group name, if it is or ends in a Latin or latinized adjective or participle in the nominative singular, must agree in gender with the generic name with which it is at any time combined.
ANY TIME COMBINED! This presumably includes original combinations!
31.2.2. Where the author of a species-group name did not indicate whether he or she regarded it as a noun or as an adjective, and where it may be regarded as either and the evidence of usage is not decisive, it is to be treated as a noun in apposition to the name of its genus (the original spelling is to be retained, with gender ending unchanged)
YOUR argument is that the authors treated cavernicolus as an ADJECTIVE! But then by 31.2, it must agree in gender with the original genus (masculine). But the masculine form of adjectival cavernicolus is cavernicola! 
In fact, it would stay as cavernicolus only if they stated that it was a noun in apposition (and perhaps not even then!)
From: Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> 
Cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Wednesday, 30 October 2013 1:01 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] New species of the future

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 (for treatment of emendations and incorrect subsequent spellings see Articles 32.5, 33.2, 33.3, 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) 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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