[Taxacom] manuscript name question

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sat Oct 10 12:22:33 CDT 2015

OK, as the originator of the "unambiguous" quote, I feel compelled to reply.  Let me rephrase my original comment as:

"The description of M. xylocopae is about a unambiguously compliant with the Code as any description of a new taxon can be."

Nothing in the Code is absolutely unambiguous ... in the sense that nothing in the universe is absolutely unambiguous.

I read Markus Moser's letter, and as impassioned as the argument is, it runs contrary to what is actually written in the Code.  The way the Code is written, sub-articles inherit the context of their parent articles.  The parent article for Art. 73.1.4 is Art. 73.1, which reads: "Holotypes. A holotype is the single specimen upon which a new nominal species-group taxon is based in the original publication".   The phrase "in the original publication" is about as unambiguous as the Code gets.  If the provisions of Art 73.1.4 were intended to apply to subsequent type designations, it would have been in a section dealing with Neotypes and Lectotypes; not Holotypes.

So ... use of 73.1.4 in the description of  M. xylocopae is in no way a distortion of the intent of the Article.

Whether or not this article is "relevant" to this species (per Stephen's comment) is open to debate, but I do see his point.  However, I still think it is relevant; although Art. 72.5.6 is probably more directly relevant.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf
> Of Geoff Read
> Sent: Friday, October 09, 2015 5:55 PM
> To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] manuscript name question
> Hi,
> Although there is clearly a group who believe that the fly photo description
> "was unambiguously Code-compliant" under the current code, this is not
> correct.
> Read again Markus Moser's eletter "Holotypic ink" in Science from 2005 (a
> response to a comment and response about the Mangabey monkey picture,
> under the doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.309.5744.2163c
> http://www.sciencemag.org/content/309/5744/2163.3/reply#sci_el_2652?s
> id=deb7fe6e-5527-45a6-b6f7-af1120d2750c
> Use of 73.1.4 for new taxa is a distortion of the article's intention which "...
> clearly refers to established species of which the types got lost somehow or
> are missing"
> --
> Geoffrey B. Read, Ph.D.
> Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
> gread at actrix.gen.nz
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