[Taxacom] History and observance of ICZN Art. 67.2

Thomas Pape tpape at snm.ku.dk
Thu Nov 1 10:00:46 CDT 2018

It is quite likely that Article 69.2.2. comes into play: "If an author designates as type species a nominal species that was not originally included (or accepts another's such designation) and if, but only if, at the same time he or she places that nominal species in synonymy with one and only one of the originally included species (as defined in Article 67.2), that act constitutes fixation of the latter species as type species of the nominal genus or subgenus."

This depends on how Gill (1862) gave the synonymy for his nominal taxon Mormyrus cyprinoides Linnaeus, 1758 -- in particular whether he included Mormyrus labiatus Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1809 as a synonym.

/Thomas Pape

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> On Behalf Of John P. Sullivan
Sent: 1. november 2018 15:40
To: Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Subject: [Taxacom] History and observance of ICZN Art. 67.2

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?
The details: 

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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