[Taxacom] New species of the future

Rosenberg,Gary rosenberg.ansp at drexel.edu
Tue Oct 29 22:00:10 CDT 2013

Eupolybothrus cavernicolus is correctly formed under the zoological Code. In ancient Latin, -cola was a noun suffix; the adjectival form was -colaris (e.g., agricolaris). In neo-Latin (e.g., Brown, Composition of Scientific Words) -cola can be an adjectival suffix, with standard endings (-us, -a, -um). The Code (glossary) defines Latin as ancient and mediaeval Latin, so the neo-Latin usage is not relevant. Article 31.2 applies to adjectives, not suffixes and "-colus" is not a Latin adjective under the Code. Article 31.2 is still relevant however-- "Cavernicolus" is a latinized adjective, since the authors gave it an adjectival definition, and used the ending "-us". If it is later combined with a feminine genus, it should become "cavernicola". The authors could also have named the species "Eupolybothrus cavernicola", which would have made the name invariant, but the Code does not require this.

By the way, Jeff Nekola and I described the snail Vertigo marciae earlier this year, reporting Recent and fossil specimens, with a phylogenetic placement based on DNA sequences. http://sev.lternet.edu/~jnekola/nekola%20pdf/naut-127-107-114.pdf.  What other instances are there like this?

Gary Rosenberg
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Drexel University

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 9:46 PM
To: Doug Yanega
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] New species of the future

Just to be absolutely clear: 
 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.

My understanding (which may be wrong) is that if, as Doug seems to, you think cavernicolus was intended to be adjectival in this case, then the correct adjectival forms relative to gender are cavernicola (masculine), cavernicola (neuter) and cavernicola (feminine). Art 31.2 would therefore appear to require correction of cavernicolus, in this case, to cavernicola, even in the original combination ('at any time combined').

The alternative interpretation would be to claim that although cavernicola is almost always used as a noun in apposition (why??), it can also be used as an adjective with "standard" -us, -um, or -a suffixes. But I see no evidence for this!



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
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