[Taxacom] Can botanical family names be based on a rejected genus name?

Karen Wilson Karen.Wilson at rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
Thu Aug 24 23:59:29 CDT 2017


Yes, you are right, Tony: a legitimate family name can't be based on an illegitimate generic name, unless conserved, under the ICN. 
As the preface to the Melbourne Code says: 
'It has long been established that a name that was illegitimate when published remains illegitimate unless it is conserved. There are, however, a significant number of family names in current use that, when published, were formed from illegitimate generic names that have since been conserved. Although the rules are retroactive, the effect of the rules is not, so that, under previous editions of the Code, the subsequent conservation of the generic name did not make legitimate the family name formed from it; this was only possible by conservation of the family name itself. Amendments accepted in Melbourne and included in Art. 18.3 and 19.6 establish that the conservation of the generic name now also makes legitimate the name of a family and the names of subdivisions of a family formed from it.'

You've found an anomaly that the Permanent Nomenclature Committees for the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants will have to investigate further.

In the list of conserved names on the Smithsonian website at http://botany.si.edu/references/codes/props/index.cfm   Aitonia is shown as conserved against Aytonia (which is the earlier name), dating from Rehder's actions in 1935. 
However, in 1994 (in Taxon 43: 118-119), the Committee for Spermatophyta recommended that Aytonia (liverwort) and Aitonia ('dicot') be treated as homonyms, as part of dealing with a proposal to conserve the family name Aitoniaceae.  
Treating Aitonia as a later homonym of Aytonia and therefore illegitimate means that the family name Aitoniaceae is also considered illegitimate. 
Recent references such as the PlantList - http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2626995  and the Angiosperma Phylogeny Website - http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/Research/APweb/welcome.html -  treat Aytonia (and Aytoniaceae) as legitimate and Aitonia as a synonym of Nymannia, Aitoniaceae as a synonym of Meliaceae. 

Given that we have thus ended up with contradictory results, the Committees will need to clarify the status of these names. Watch this space!

Cheers
Karen W


________________________________________________________________________________________________
Karen L. Wilson AM
Secretary, General Committee, International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi & Plants

Hon. Research Associate, National Herbarium of New South Wales
Adjunct Associate Professor, University of New England, Armidale, NSW  

Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands
T +61 (02) 9231 8137 | E karen.wilson at rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Tony Rees
Sent: Friday, 25 August 2017 11:29 AM
To: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Subject: [Taxacom] Can botanical family names be based on a rejected genus name?

Dear taxacomers,

I came across a botanical family name (Aytoniaceae Cavers in liverworts, see http://tropicos.org/Name/35002592 ) which appears to be based on a rejected genus name, Aytonia J.R. Forst. & G. Forst. (see
http://tropicos.org/Name/35001869) so was wondering if this affects the validity (?=legitimacy) of the relevant family name. So far as I am aware, in zoology a family name cannot be based on an unavailable genus name, but in botany the analogous situation may be different.

The relevant section of the ICNafp (Melbourne Code) reads as follows:

----------
18.3. A name of a family based on an illegitimate generic name is illegitimate unless and until it or the generic name upon which it is based is conserved.
Ex.6. Caryophyllaceae Juss., nom. cons. (from Caryophyllus Mill. non L.); Winteraceae R. Br. ex Lindl., nom. cons. (from Wintera Murray, an illegitimate replacement name for Drimys J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.).
Ex.7. Nartheciaceae Fr. ex Bjurzon (1846), based on Narthecium Huds., nom.
cons. (1762), became legitimate when the generic name was conserved over its earlier homonym Narthecium GĂ©rard (1761) (see App. III).
----------

So perhaps I need to know whether a nom. rej. qualifies as an illegitimate name or not.

 Advice from relevant knowledgeable persons would be appreciated.

Regards - Tony

Tony Rees, New South Wales, Australia
https://about.me/TonyRees
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