[Taxacom] Questions about availability of a species name

Al Newton anewton at fieldmuseum.org
Wed Aug 22 17:55:38 CDT 2018

Hi Doug,

What about the effect of Art. 10.1.1 on this situation?

10.1.1. If publication of the data relating to a new nominal taxon or a
> nomenclatural act is interrupted and continued at a later date, the name or
> act becomes available only when the requirements of the relevant Articles
> have been met.

If indication of type depository was the only missing piece of information
in the original description (Li et al. 2009), and
Ranjith et al. (2015) supplied that information along with a reference to
the original description (which had all the other elements), then it would
seem that the name would become available from Ranjith et al. (with them as
authors).  This is how I and some others have used that article (at least
implicitly) for this exact situation, which unfortunately is all too common.

Why does this not work?

Alfred F. Newton, Curator Emeritus
Integrative Research Center (Insect Division)
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605 USA
Telephone (direct):  312-665-7738; Fax (Zoology):  312-665-7754
FMNH personal web page:  <http://fieldmuseum.org/users/alfred-newton>
Austral Staphyliniformia databases: <

On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 4:56 PM, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

> On 8/22/18 2:24 PM, Fernandez, Jose wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I would greatly appreciate some help/comments on the following topic. I
>> have added a "Right?" to the  end of my paragraphs to mark my questions
>> (and NOT because I think that I am necessarily right!). Hopefully you can
>> clarify me the situation.
>> Microplitis vitellipedis Li, Tan & Song was described in 2009 from China
>> The original paper did not state the holotype depository. Thus, the species
>> name is unavailable under the current ICZN. Right?
>> Then in 2015 a taxonomic review of the Oriental species of Microplitis
>> refers to that species. It states that the holotype is deposited in the
>> Hunan Agricultural University, China. That happens to be the institution
>> which the authors of the original description were affiliated with (at
>> least at the time of the 2009 publication). The 2015 paper, from Indian
>> researchers, states that "the type specimen of this species could not be
>> examined" and that they based their species description, illustration and
>> place in the key to Oriental Microplitis species on specimens from India
>> that they actually examined. I am not sure if the 2015 authors contacted
>> the Chinese colleagues to verify that the type was indeed deposited in the
>> Hunan Agricultural University, China. But that may be beyond the point,
>> because what matters is that, if the type depository was explicitly (and
>> clearly) stated in the 2015 paper, then that would comply with the ICZN
>> requirements and thus would make the name Microplitis vitellipedis Li, Tan
>> & Song available. Right?
>> Assuming that the two previous paragraphs are correct, then my last
>> question is, how to refer to that species? I mean the species name and
>> authors would remain the same, but the actual date assigned to that name
>> should be 2015 (the moment when the species name fulfilled all criteria to
>> be considered an available name, sensu ICZN) and not 2009. Right? Should it
>> be then Microplitis vitellipedis Li, Tan & Song 2015? Is there something
>> there that I may be missing? Or some assumptions that are wrong? Or better
>> ways to interpret the situation?
>> [If someone is interested in checking the cited references, I will be
>> happy to send pdf copies off list (just send me an email for that). In any
>> case the two references are: a) Original Description Reference: Li,
>> Xi-ying; Tan, Ji-cai and Song, Dong-bao. 2009. A new species of Microplitis
>> Foerster (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Microgastrinae) of China.
>> Entomotaxonomia. 31(3):225-229; b) subsequent and so far only reference
>> known to me: Ranjith, A.P.; Rajesh, K.M. and Nasser, M.. 2015. Taxonomic
>> studies on Oriental Microplitis Foerster (Hymenoptera: Braconidae,
>> Microgastrinae) with description of two new species from South India.
>> Zootaxa. 3963(3):369-415].
>> From the information given, the name is still unavailable (a nomen nudum).
> The relevant section of the Code is as follows, highlights added:
> ---
> Article 16. Names published after 1999.
> 16.1. All names: intention of authors to establish new nominal taxa to be
> explicit. Every new name published after 1999, including new replacement
> names (nomina nova), *must be explicitly indicated as intentionally new*.
> {snip}
> 16.4. Species-group names: fixation of name-bearing types to be explicit.
> Every new specific and subspecific name published after 1999, except a new
> replacement name (a nomen novum), for which the name-bearing type of the
> nominal taxon it denotes is fixed automatically [Art. 72.7], *must be
> accompanied in the original publication**
> *
> 16.4.1. by the explicit fixation of a holotype, or syntypes, for the
> nominal taxon [Arts. 72.2, 72.3, 73.1.1, 73.2 and Recs. 73A and 73C], and,
> 16.4.2. where the holotype or syntypes are extant specimens, by a
> statement of intent that they will be (or are) deposited in a collection
> and *a statement indicating the name and location of that collection*
> ---
> Li et al. failed to comply with Art. 16.4 (16.4.2), and
> Ranjith et al. failed to comply with Art. 16.1
> Had Ranjith et al. stated the species was new, they would have been given
> authorship, and not Li et al.
> Under *outdated* editions of the Code, citing a prior-published
> description associated with a previously unavailable name would - under
> some circumstances - make that name available (often inadvertently), but
> the 2000 Code edition added Article 16 to prevent this from ever happening
> again. *You can no longer accidentally make a previously published name
> available just by citing it*; you are either the author of a new name
> yourself, or you are not. In this case, no one is, and the name is still a
> nomen nudum.
> There are still apparently lots of taxonomists familiar with the old Code
> editions, and not the most recent edition, who have never read Article 16;
> it's a very long list of papers over the past 18 years that violate 16.1
> and/or 16.4, and they continue to be published, even in peer-reviewed
> journals.
> Sincerely,
> --
> 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)
>              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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