[Taxacom] History and observance of ICZN Art. 67.2
John P. Sullivan
jpsullivan65 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 1 09:39:44 CDT 2018
I have a question for anyone familiar with the history of refinements in taxonomic practice in 19th Century zoology.
Article 67.2 of the ZooCode stipulates that a nominal species is only eligible to be fixed as the type species of a nominal genus or subgenus if it is an originally included nominal species.
When was this article first codified and was there a time when practicing systematists sometimes did otherwise?
I ask because I am trying to figure out the thinking of Theodore Gill in 1862, an ichthyologist at the Smithsonian, who as first reviser proposed a type species for a genus that wasn't originally included in it. How common is this kind of mistake in workers from that era? Was this recognized as inadmissible at the time?
It's pretty clear that in two publications (1862, 1863) Gill intended, as first reviser, to make Mormyrus cyprinoides Linnaeus, 1758 the type species of Mormyrops Müller 1843. The problem is Müller had not included Mormyrus cyprinoides L. in his genus Mormyrops. He had instead included Mormyrus anguilloides L. and Mormyrus labiatus Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1809 (without designating a type). The latter species was synonymized with Mormyrus cyprinoides L. by Valenciennes in 1846. The synonymy does not affect the eligibility of Mormyrus labiatus to be subsequently designated type of Mormyrops under the Code as we have it, nor does it make Mormyrus anguilloides eligible, but is it possible that in 1862 Gill thought differently?
Informed opinions appreciated!
~ John P. Sullivan
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