[Taxacom] History and observance of ICZN Art. 67.2

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Thu Nov 1 11:09:39 CDT 2018

Dear John,
Basic principles of present-day zoological nomenclature such as the idea 
of a type species for a genus (the Principle of Typification) had not 
been in force in those times. Zoologists from various different 
countries followed different concepts. From my own discipline I know 
that leading German malacologists did not accept the type species 
concept for genera until 1905.

1905 was the date when the first collection of nomenclatural rules was 
established (it was entitled Règles internationales de la Nomenclature 
zoologique, and was published in French, English and German). Prior to 
1905 there were no commonly accepted rules in zoological nomenclature. 
1905 was certainly one of the key dates you have been asking for.

The first collection of rules had been published in 1842 in Britain (the 
Strickland Code), compiled among others by personalities such as Charles 
Darwin and Richard Owen. The basic idea of the Principle of Typification 
had been presented there. That Code had great influence and was 
subsequently published in France, Italy and the United States. The 
Strickland Code did not have the force and authority of an 
internationally widely accepted set of rules.

However, as Thomas already pointed out, if an original included nominal 
species was later synonymised, it has since long been usual practice to 
cite the species in its "new" classification.

Best regards

Francisco Welter-Schultes

Am 01.11.2018 um 15:39 schrieb John P. Sullivan:
> 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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