[Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Jan 10 15:57:30 CST 2014


The Code should be moderately clear about this. See Art. 31.2: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/index.jsp?article=31
 
Stephen


________________________________
From: Alex Borisenko <aborisen at uoguelph.ca>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
Sent: Saturday, 11 January 2014 10:46 AM
Subject: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?


Dear Taxacomers, 

I would appreciate hearing expert views on a nomenclatural issue related to a common bat species - the African banana bat. Originally described as Vespertilio nanus Peters, 1852, it has since been tossed into the genus Pipistrellus and, most recently, Neoromicia. 
Currently, the global mammal checklist uses the name "Neoromicia nanus": http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/biology/resources/msw3/browse.asp?s=y&id=13802268
However, a recent article proposes to use "Neoromicia nana", based on the fact that the gender of the generic epithet is feminine: http://www.italian-journal-of-mammalogy.it/article/view/4427
This new 'feminine' spelling gradually becomes entrenched in regional literature, but not in the global checklists. 
I was unable to find the word 'nanus' in online Latin dictionaries. Do I understand correctly that, albeit sounding Latin, it is actually a derivative from the Greek 'νᾶνος ' ('dwarf') and, as such, should be treated as a noun in apposition, thus falling under ICZN Art. 31.2.1.? 
If so, would 'Neoromicia nanus' be the correct spelling? If not, can you please suggest the proper grammatic rules that would apply in this case? 

PS I deliberately aim to avoid the other nomenclatural and taxonomic issues that plague this species (or, more likely, species complex). Thanks for your suggestions. 
Best wishes, 
Alex Borisenko 

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