[Taxacom] Retaining genus when its type species isn't diagnosable

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Wed Dec 7 05:21:18 CST 2016


I answer to this one, Mike.

Taken that the genus is defined as comprising all animals with four 
legs. There are various species inside which differ in the colour of 
their eyes. The type species has clearly 4 legs, but only a skeleton is 
preserved and nobody recorded which colour the eyes of the holotype had.

There is no confusion on the question that this species belongs to this 
genus. The specific identity of the type specimen is not of interest.

I do not know if your teaching is correct or appropriate in this point. 
If you have 5 nominal species inside a genus, 4 name are currently used 
for species, plus a 5th name, which is the doubtful type species. Now if 
the name of the type species is the oldest name of that set of 5 names, 
and you select a neotype that allows to identify it, that name will 
inevitably get in conflict with one of the four names that are in 
current usage. This can get very complicate because you need to take 
measures not to distort nomenclature. You cannot call this Best 
Practice. If you just leave the doubtful name as it is, you have no 
problems.

Francisco


Am 07.12.2016 um 02:29 schrieb Michael A. Ivie:
> Francisco,
>
> Again, we have a definitional confusion situation (as stated by 
> Stuart), otherwise it is not an issue at all, which you repeat, but it 
> does not apply here.  If the identity of the type species is confused, 
> how can you "know" the species belongs to that genus?  There either is 
> no confusion (no action required or even allowed) or there is 
> confusion (Best Practice is to eliminate the confusion).
>
> Mike
>
>
>
> On 12/6/2016 6:20 PM, Francisco Welter-Schultes wrote:
>> Mike,
>>
>> You do have a nominal type species in this case. Nomen dubium is a 
>> misleading expression. The determination of the genus is not 
>> doubtful, as long as it is doubtless that your type species belongs 
>> to your genus. Simply said.
>>
>> 61.1.1: Taxon, not species. If the type species fits doubtlessly 
>> within the currently accepted boundaries of that genus, everything is 
>> fine.
>>
>> Many species do not have preserved name-bearing types. As long as 
>> there is not need, no neotypes should be designated.
>>
>> Francisco
>>
>>
>> Am 07.12.2016 um 01:45 schrieb Michael A. Ivie:
>>> Francisico,
>>>
>>> However, Under Art. 67.1. Name-bearing types. "The name-bearing type 
>>> of a nominal genus or subgenus is a nominal species called the 'type 
>>> species.'"  Ipso facto, if you don't have a known type species, you 
>>> don't have a known genus.  If there is any confusion at all, as 
>>> indicated by the term "nomen dubium," the definition of the the 
>>> genus is equally doubtful.
>>>
>>> This follows from a very basic concept of the Code, the Principle of 
>>> Typification, as explained in Art. 61:
>>>
>>> "61.1. Statement of the Principle of Typification. Each nominal 
>>> taxon in the family, genus or species groups has actually or 
>>> potentially a name-bearing type. The fixation of the name-bearing 
>>> type of a nominal taxon provides the objective standard of reference 
>>> for the application of the name it bears.
>>>
>>> 61.1.1. No matter how the boundaries of a taxonomic taxon may vary 
>>> in the opinion of zoologists the valid name of such a taxon is 
>>> determined [Art. 23.3] from the name-bearing type(s) considered to 
>>> belong within those boundaries."
>>>
>>> No type? Unknown type species for a genus? No objective standard of 
>>> reference for the application of the name it bears.  Period.
>>>
>>> Mike
>>>
>>>
>>> On 12/6/2016 5:39 PM, Francisco Welter-Schultes wrote:
>>>> I also disagree, Mike, but maybe there is a misunderstanding as you 
>>>> just mentioned.
>>>>
>>>> There is not need to identify the type species down to species 
>>>> level, in this case genus level identification is sufficient.
>>>>
>>>> It is not possible to give a best practice advice without knowing 
>>>> more about the specific case. Much depends on the community. If it 
>>>> is likely that someone could designate a neotype in a way that 
>>>> distorts nomenclature, then it is useful to select a neotype. If 
>>>> there is silence and peace all around, and such a problematic 
>>>> action is not very likely, then selecting a neotype is not 
>>>> necessary. A neotype should not be designated as an end in itself 
>>>> (Art. 75.2), so it is only useful to select a neotype if there is a 
>>>> real need for it.
>>>>
>>>> Francisco
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Am 07.12.2016 um 01:20 schrieb Stephen Thorpe:
>>>>> Hmm, now, Mike! You say"It is a fact that if you don't know what 
>>>>> the type species is, you cannot, by definition, know what the 
>>>>> genus is".
>>>>>
>>>>> I disagree! You might know that the type species belongs within a 
>>>>> group of cryptic species (which are clearly congeneric), but not 
>>>>> know which of them it is (if the DNA cannot be sequenced, etc.)
>>>>>
>>>>> Stephen
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --------------------------------------------
>>>>> On Wed, 7/12/16, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>   Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Retaining genus when its type species 
>>>>> isn't    diagnosable
>>>>>   To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>>>>>   Received: Wednesday, 7 December, 2016, 1:17 PM
>>>>>     Francisco,
>>>>>     I agree that you can do what
>>>>>   you say, as many practices do not follow
>>>>>   the Code, and in fact work pretty well
>>>>>   anyway.  BUT, Stuart asked about
>>>>>   "best practice."  It is a fact that
>>>>>   if you don't know what the type
>>>>>   species
>>>>>   is, you cannot, by definition, know what the genus is.
>>>>>   Anyone
>>>>>   could come along and perfectly
>>>>>   validly (if unadvisedly) designate pretty
>>>>>   much anything as the Neotype, and render all
>>>>>   those other species
>>>>>   incorrectly placed.
>>>>>   Arts. 75.3.5 and 75.3.6 give great latitude to
>>>>>   deviate from the original concept.
>>>>>     75.3.5. evidence that the
>>>>>   neotype is consistent with what is known of
>>>>>   the former name-bearing type from the original
>>>>>   description and from
>>>>>   other sources;
>>>>>   *however, a neotype may be based on a different sex or
>>>>>   life stage, if necessary or desirable to secure
>>>>>   stability of nomenclature;**
>>>>>   *
>>>>>   75.3.6. evidence that the neotype came as
>>>>>   *nearly as practicable* from
>>>>>   the original
>>>>>   type locality [Art. 76.1] and, where relevant, from the
>>>>>   same geological horizon or host species as the
>>>>>   original name-bearing
>>>>>   type (see also
>>>>>   Article 76.3 and Recommendation 76A.1);
>>>>>     Best practice requires the stabilization of a
>>>>>   Neotype.
>>>>>     Mike
>>>>>       On 12/6/2016
>>>>>   5:09 PM, Francisco Welter-Schultes wrote:
>>>>>   > You can certainly continue adding species
>>>>>   to that genus.
>>>>>   >
>>>>>   > I
>>>>>   understand that the type species cannot be firmly associated
>>>>>   with
>>>>>   > any existing known species, but
>>>>>   it certainly belongs to a group of
>>>>>   >
>>>>>   species currently regarded to represent that genus. As long
>>>>>   as nothing
>>>>>   > happens the type species
>>>>>   can remain a doubtful name within this genus.
>>>>>   >
>>>>>   > The problem arises
>>>>>   once someone likes to split up the genus, and it is
>>>>>   > impossible to tell to which subgroup the
>>>>>   doubtful type species might
>>>>>   > belong. In
>>>>>   this case some action needs to be taken.
>>>>>   >
>>>>>   > Francisco
>>>>>   >
>>>>>   >
>>>>>   >
>>>>>   Am 07.12.2016 um 00:24 schrieb Stephen Thorpe:
>>>>>   >> Hi Stuart,
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>   There is no real problem that I can see with the type
>>>>>   species of a
>>>>>   >> genus being a nomen
>>>>>   dubium. You could try, if you really wanted to,
>>>>>   >> lodging an application with the ICZN
>>>>>   for designation of a neotype for
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>   the type species, but if they don't see a real need,
>>>>>   they might not
>>>>>   >> bother.
>>>>>   >> Cheers,
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>   Stephen
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>   --------------------------------------------
>>>>>   >> On Wed, 7/12/16, Stuart Longhorn
>>>>>   <sjl197 at hotmail.com>
>>>>>   wrote:
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>   >>   Subject: [Taxacom]
>>>>>   Retaining genus when its type species isn't
>>>>>   >> diagnosable
>>>>>   >>   To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu"
>>>>>   <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>>>>>   >>   Received: Wednesday, 7
>>>>>   December, 2016, 12:06 PM
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>      Can someone explain to me the best practice of
>>>>>   how to treat
>>>>>   >>   a
>>>>>   genus/species when the genus is identifiable but the
>>>>>   >>   species identity of the
>>>>>   type species is not?
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>      e.g. Genus Aus Smith 1900
>>>>>   >>     With designated type
>>>>>   species Aus xus Smith 1900
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>      and several other species added later.
>>>>>   >>       If the type species
>>>>>   is not identifiable (as a 'species'),
>>>>>   >>   but the 'genus'
>>>>>   perse is from that/associated description,
>>>>>   >>   is it ok for the genus to
>>>>>   be retained as valid (including
>>>>>   >>   possibly adding other
>>>>>   species to the genus), while its type
>>>>>   >>   species simply can become
>>>>>   nomen dubium?
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>      From this
>>>>>   >>
>>>>>      67.1.2. The name of a type species remains
>>>>>   unchanged even
>>>>>   >>   when it
>>>>>   is a junior synonym or homonym, or a suppressed name
>>>>>   >>   (see Article
>>>>>   >> 
>>>>> 81.2.1<http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/index.jsp?nfv=true&article=81#2.1>).
>>>>>   >>       Thanks in
>>>>>   advance
>>>>>   >>     stuart
>>>>>   >> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>   >
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>>>>>     --
>>>>>   __________________________________________________
>>>>>     Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D.,
>>>>>   F.R.E.S.
>>>>>     NOTE: two
>>>>>   addresses with different Zip Codes depending on carriers
>>>>>     US Post Office Address:
>>>>>   Montana Entomology Collection
>>>>>   Marsh Labs, Room 50
>>>>>   PO Box
>>>>>   173145
>>>>>   Montana State University
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>>>>>   USA
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>>>>>   USA
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>>>>>   mivie at montana.edu
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>>>>
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>>>>
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>>>
>>
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>



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