[Taxacom] Questions about availability of a species name

Fernandez, Jose Jose.Fernandez at AGR.GC.CA
Thu Aug 23 09:24:38 CDT 2018

Hi again,

First of all, I want to say THANKS A LOT to all of you that have so far replied to my questions. I really appreciate that and the time you have spent doing it. 

Based on the discussion so far, the consensus is that the species name is still unavailable -although I see different interpretations of the pertinent articles that have been cited so far; if anything, it seems as there is ambiguity in the Code there (not a criticism of the ICZN per se, just an observation after reading the articles AND the opinions of those who replied to my questions).

So now I only have a single question to ask: Is there a way that that name could ever be made available? Could you confirm that a) there is NO way to make that Microplitis vitellipedis name available by just clearly stating the depository in a subsequent paper; and b) indeed the ONLY way to make that species name available would be publishing a subsequent paper that includes all ICZN requirements to make such name available (a process  that implies a new author and year of publication for that species name)? 

The only reason I have asked all those questions is because I am about to finish a world checklist of the Braconidae subfamily Microgastrinae (~2,800 valid names, a couple hundred names in other categories). If the name Microplitis vitellipedis could only be made available by the option b) cited above, then I would simply list that name in a section I already have for unavailable names. I have no intention to make species names from other authors available, unless it could be done via the option a) mentioned above. Thanks again for any advice you can provide about that.

[And, please, allow me a stupid comment to end my message. I realize the importance of regulations and so on. But I still see a species that was a) described, compared to putative close species, and illustrated (drawings) in 2009, b) re-described, placed within a key to all Oriental species of Microplitis, and illustrated (color pictures) in 2015, c) a technicality (the authors of the original description probably forgot to add the depository, or just assumed that it was implicit that it was their institution, or just were not aware of the new Code regulations, or whatever) now prevents that species name to be available. Yes, there is no justification for the authors not stating clearly the depository in the original description, and I am no here to defend or represent the authors in any way or shape. But, if the depository indeed could be confirmed to be the Hunan Agricultural University, China, and a subsequent note could be published clearly stating that (preferably, done by the original authors), would not that be a better solution than any person using the available descriptions, stating a depository and getting credited for the species name? Where regulations and common sense meet? Or am I just too stupid to fully understand the logic behind those Articles? If so, I apologize in advance!]. 


José L. Fernández-Triana, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canadian National Collection of Insects (CNC) 
960 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0C6, CANADA 
Phone: 613-759-1034. Email: jose.fernandez at agr.gc.ca 
Alternative email : cnc.braconidae at gmail.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Fernandez, Jose
Sent: August-22-18 5:24 PM
To: parahym (parahym at nhm.ac.uk); taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Questions about availability of a species name

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].

Thanks a lot for any help you can provide!
All the best,

José L. Fernández-Triana, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canadian National Collection of Insects (CNC)
960 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0C6, CANADA
Phone: 613-759-1034. Email: jose.fernandez at agr.gc.ca<mailto:jose.fernandez at agr.gc.ca>
Alternative email : cnc.braconidae at gmail.com<mailto:cnc.braconidae at gmail.com>

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