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

David Campbell pleuronaia at gmail.com
Tue Sep 6 08:19:06 CDT 2016

Although some authors often dismiss names judged to have unsatisfactory
descriptions as nude, true zoological nomina nuda have no description at
all.  Names with poor descriptions might be nomina dubia, or usable despite
being badly described, but they are nomenclaturally valid for animals.  For
example, Lymnaea bulla Benson has a detailed locality, but the only actual
description is the word "fine" (mid-1800's).  Because we have no evidence
as to what Benson thought might be a fine-looking pondsnail, this gives no
description.  However, if he had mentioned anything about the shell, e.g.,
"brown", "small", etc. that would be a description.

On Mon, Sep 5, 2016 at 8:08 PM, Tony Rees <tonyrees49 at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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 Code?
> Any advice appreciated,
> Regards - Tony
> Tony Rees, New South Wales, Australia
> https://about.me/TonyRees
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Dr. David Campbell
Assistant Professor, Geology
Department of Natural Sciences
Box 7270
Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs NC 28017

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