[Taxacom] Species name validity against nomina dubia

Rosenberg,Gary rosenberg.ansp at drexel.edu
Sat Oct 20 23:14:56 CDT 2018


Hi Stuart,

It's not appropriate to give a new replacement name for the new species. It seems that the names are not primary homonyms, so no replacement is necessary based on the current state of knowledge. The older name can just be left as a nomen dubium. If someone were to designate a neotype for the nomen dubium, three outcomes are possible: the names are not secondary homonyms or synonyms, the name are secondary homonyms and synonyms (and the older name would replace the newer one), or the names are secondary homonyms but not synonyms. Only in the last case would a replacement name be needed.

Best wishes,
Gary Rosenberg
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> On Behalf Of Stuart Longhorn
Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2018 10:44 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Species name validity against nomina dubia


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://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.co.uk%2Fcitations%3Fuser%3Dwq2cCXQAAAAJ%26hl%3Den&data=02%7C01%7Crosenberg.ansp%40drexel.edu%7Cb3dc1859ca9e4a0338be08d636ff0b3b%7C3664e6fa47bd45a696708c4f080f8ca6%7C0%7C0%7C636756866378096574&sdata=2Lh8q10lPvJWNCNd3Q7ExFEtYV9FMm3zIQSVs%2Fc82gE%3D&reserved=0><https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.linkedin.com%2Fpub%2Fstuart-longhorn%2Fa%2Fa74%2F877&data=02%7C01%7Crosenberg.ansp%40drexel.edu%7Cb3dc1859ca9e4a0338be08d636ff0b3b%7C3664e6fa47bd45a696708c4f080f8ca6%7C0%7C0%7C636756866378096574&sdata=4Pd%2F69xziwZxDggcOQIvibmwNqqslSz4jY2zlxt2Szg%3D&reserved=0>Thanks in advance, any suggestions welcome!
Stuart Longhorn.

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