[Taxacom] ICZN loophole? - no originally included species

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Tue Jul 29 16:47:03 CDT 2014


23.9.1. prevailing usage must be maintained when the following conditions are both met: the senior synonym or homonym has not been used as a valid name after 1899, and the junior synonym or homonym has been used for a particular taxon, as its presumed valid name, in at least 25 works, published by at least 10 authors in the immediately preceding 50 years and encompassing a span of not less than 10 years.

The key words are "used as a VALID name". Mere citation and/or speculation is not relevant.


On Tue, 29/7/14, David Campbell <pleuronaia at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] ICZN loophole? - no originally included species
 To: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 Cc: "taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Tuesday, 29 July, 2014, 4:08 PM
 genera in question have been cited in synonymies and
 lists.  From time to time (at least as recently as the
 1980's), someone speculates on their identity.  At
 least one author tried to get rid of one of them by
 designating one of the nude species as type, but this is not
 legal by modern rules.  
 What I plan to do is to
 deal with one name when I get around to writing up the group
 that I think it belongs to, and draw attention of someone
 working on the most plausible family for the other.  The
 name that I would be in a position to tackle further seems
 likely to apply to a group that is not currently recognized
 as a distinct genus, but molecular data suggest that it does
 significantly diverge from the type.  A genus name
 definitely applying to the group exists, but buried in
 synonymy.  There are questions about the credibility and
 sanity of the authors of both the genus without valid type
 and the potential later synonym.
 On Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at
 6:44 PM, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 I don't see a problem here. If an old (<1930) genus
 group name was established without included species, then
 (1) there already are subsequently included species, or (2)
 there aren't any to date. While (2) seems unlikely, it
 could happen, so I think you are saying that some
 unscrupulous person could be the first to include a species,
 in fact any animal at all, and would thereby fix the type
 species by subsequent monotypy, and could thereby gain
 priority (for the original author) for a well known taxon.
 However, the genus would not have been used as valid since
 it was established (at leat this is very unlikely, since
 there were no included species), so Art. 23.9 would easily
 solve the problem (and, if not, an application to the
 Commission would certainly be successful!)...
 On Mon, 28/7/14, David Campbell <pleuronaia at gmail.com>
  Subject: [Taxacom] ICZN loophole? - no originally included
  To: "taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
  Received: Monday, 28 July, 2014, 10:24 PM
  In reviewing available names for a
  particular family, I find a couple of
  genera from the early 1800's that are validly
 proposed, but
  have no validly
  included species.  Thus, whatever valid species is
  first included will
  define the genus.  The genera have brief descriptions
  and include nude
  species.  I am pondering whether specifying a type
  species will be useful
  to stabilize nomenclature.  The difficulty is that the
  names are early
  enough that they would displace almost any name in use
  species likely
  to be originally intended.  Thus, for stability these
  genera would only be
  useful to validate in the context of recognizing a
  genus-level taxon not in
  current use.
  However, if I were to disregard recommendations about
  stability, my
  reputation as a taxonomist, etc., there doesn't seem
 to be
  anything legally
  preventing me from causing trouble by selecting any
  (s.l.) I like
  and making it the type.  Legal type designations do
  have to conform to
  the type description.  I think this is a good idea, to
  avoid arguments over
  how well a given species fits the original genus
  description.    But it
  does seem unreasonable to be able to use something with
  whatsoever to the original description.  For example,
  probably no one would
  be happy if I took a genus originally intended for a
  and tried to use
  it to pre-empt Drosophila or Tyrannosaurus.  No doubt
  the name would get
  suppressed if an attempt like that were made, but it
  be a nuisance in
  the meantime.
  Dr. David Campbell
  Assistant Professor, Geology
  Department of Natural Sciences
  Box 7270
  Gardner-Webb University
  Boiling Springs NC 28017
  Taxacom Mailing List
  Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
  The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
  Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
 Dr. David CampbellAssistant
 Professor, GeologyDepartment of Natural
 SciencesBox 7270Gardner-Webb
 Boiling Springs NC 28017

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