[Taxacom] Use of "nomen invalidum" versus "nomen nudum" in botany

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Sep 5 19:33:33 CDT 2016

The issues here are complicated. The term "nomen nudum" strictly speaking refers to a subset of what in zoology can be termed unavailable names. A "nomen nudum" is a "name only", i.e. published without a description, diagnosis or illustration. There are many other ways for a name to be unavailable, particularly so post electronic amendment (e.g. lack of a specified archive in ZooBank registration, etc.) Unfortunately in botany, they don't use the term availability, but instead use validity. I most often see "nomen illegitimum" in botany, rather than anything else. I can't really answer your question directly, but I will try to make the point that definitions in this area are not entirely clear. It is best to define (stipulate) exactly what you mean rather than rely on vague and ambiguous traditional terms, terms which may mean different things to different people.


On Tue, 6/9/16, Tony Rees <tonyrees49 at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: [Taxacom] Use of "nomen invalidum" versus "nomen nudum" in botany
 To: "taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Tuesday, 6 September, 2016, 12:08 PM
 Dear Taxacomers,
 I am seeking some guidance as to the circumstances in which
 either "nomen
 invalidum" or "nomen nudum" might preferably be used in
 botany. In zoology,
 it is customary to use "nomen nudum" for names published
 without e.g. an
 adequate description, desgnatioin of type species for a
 genus, and so on.
 In botany (for example many entries in Index Nominum
 Genericorum) the
 standard wording appears to be "not validly published"
 (?=nomen invalidum)
 which I interpret to coverr the same territory - or possibly
 a superset of
 it. Does this mean that "nomen nudum" is not really a term
 used in botany,
 even though it is included in the glossary to the botanical
 Any advice appreciated,
 Regards - Tony
 Tony Rees, New South Wales, Australia
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