[Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Jan 10 16:24:46 CST 2014

You cannot make the call without seeing all of the revevant primary literature (e.g. Peters, 1852). Only then can you evaluste
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

From: Alex Borisenko <aborisen at uoguelph.ca>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> 
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
Sent: Saturday, 11 January 2014 11:20 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

Thanks Stephen,
Yes, the Code is pretty clear; what is unclear to me is the grammar: is 'nanus' a latinized adjective or a a noun in apposition?
I don't have the original work of Peters so don't know his opinion on the subject...


From: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
To: "Alex Borisenko" <aborisen at uoguelph.ca>, taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2014 4:57:30 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

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

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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