[Taxacom] Species name validity against nomina dubia

Stuart Longhorn sjl197 at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 20 21:43:45 CDT 2018

I have a question about a newly described species, which uses the same species name as another older one with a complex history in the taxon (an animal family) which I’m interested in.

A new species was just given the new name  (with modern high quality description) in my focal family. That same species name “xyz” has been used multiple times previously for many other diverse animals, in several distinct genera, but I understand that is not a problem when others are in different genera and clearly diagnosable.

But, within my family there is another much older described species of the same name “xyz”, for which the identity is really uncertain. There is no type(s) for it, and that older description is dire, the family is (fairly) secure for it, but nothing finer-scale. Yet, it is currently treated as a junior synonym of another valid species, also with no type and dire description, and that synonym seems completely unjustified. I would suggest best if both these others old ones are instead placed as nomina dubia, and their synonymy removed. Neither of these older descriptions are adequate enough to confidently to re-identify species, nor place in any genus, only a likely family.

Point is, if that transfer of the older "xyz" to nomen dubium happens, is it still appropriate to again use the same name “xyz” for this 'other' new species in same family? Whatever this new one is, it seems impossible to distinguish from the other older one in nomen dubium at either the generic or species level. We can only say same family (probably!). Else, both the new species and problem old one(s) are from the same country of origin - they're plausibly the same genus - or even same species - but all uncertain!

The question is this - would it be appropriate to give a replacement name to the new species?

<https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=wq2cCXQAAAAJ&hl=en><http://www.linkedin.com/pub/stuart-longhorn/a/a74/877>Thanks in advance, any suggestions welcome!
Stuart Longhorn.

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