[Taxacom] ICZN - gender of genus-group name ending in -ops

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Mon May 16 16:23:57 CDT 2016

On 5/16/16 2:00 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> The Code glossary does include:
> variant spellings
>      Different spellings of specific or subspecific names that are deemed to be identical for the purposes of the Principle of Homonymy [Art. 58].
> What is still unclear is whether "prevailing usage" provisions in the Code make a clear distinction between spelling and gender.
> Suppose a new species was described as Aus pulcher. The epithets pulcher and pulchra differ only in gender.
Therefore they are spelled identically, as far as the Code is concerned, 
and accordingly "prevailing usage" either applies to *all* the 
alternatives, or *none*. Changing an epithet to match a gender is not 
changing its spelling, otherwise the forms could not be identical, could 
>   So, what is the original spelling for the nominal species? What is the correct original spelling? That depends on the gender of Aus.
The correct original spelling is, effectively, *simultaneously* pulcher, 
pulchrum, or pulchra, rather than any one of these - until it is placed 
in combination with a genus name. Very much like Schrodinger's Cat.

They're identical, by definition, so it doesn't matter what gender the 
genus is as far as the Code is concerned; generic assignment is a 
temporary thing, and the Code is written so as to acknowledge this.


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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