[Taxacom] Taxonomic question

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Mar 19 21:01:30 CDT 2020


 A similar example would be a measurement (even for specimens which are not fossils). Something like:
Aus bus n.sp. (holotype: 20mm in length)
This could be intended as diagnostic, i.e. what separates this species from others in the genus is its size.
But it could alternatively be intended merely as a description of the specimen, with no intention to imply that size is significant diagnostically/taxonomically.
Stephen
    On Friday, 20 March 2020, 01:48:09 am UTC, Stephen Thorpe via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:  
 
  It is unclear if my point has been taken that, for fossils, an accompanying description may only be a description of what body parts are preserved in the fossil, which is not intended to be a description of the taxon in any way. For example, one might say "3 legs, head and wings", but this would surely not confer availability on the name??
Stephen
    On Friday, 20 March 2020, 01:25:25 am UTC, Francisco Welter-Schultes via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:  
 
 I agree with Thomas in this point, this is based on Art. 13.1.1, however 
the distinction between descriptions before and after 1930 is under debate.
Before 1931 there is no element of intent in there. A distinctive 
description can either be present or absent.

If the describer mentioned some characters in the original source and 
did clearly not know that another author had described another taxon 
before with the same characters, then I would agree with Stephen, that 
in such a case the intention is to be acknowledged. If we talk of a 
disctinctive description, then this term "disctinctive" must be 
evaluated from the point of view of the describer.

The cited source showed that the intention in that case was to describe 
only a specimen, and we could argue, not a taxon as such. I think this 
kind of intention must be ignored or set aside.
In the present case only a specimen was described, but the name referred 
implicitly to the corresponding taxon. This is always so. Taxonomists 
describe specimens and give names for the corresponding taxa. If you 
only have one specimen, your description can only refer to this one. If 
your specimen displays a coriaceous integument in contrast to all other 
hitherto known Lycosa-like taxa (I have no idea what a coriaceous 
integument is... I just take this as an example to illustrate the 
thought), then you can establish a new name for all likewise fossil 
animals that display this character.
If a coriaceous integument is something that all spiders have, then it 
is not a distinctive character.

-----
Francisco

Am 20.03.2020 um 01:41 schrieb Thomas Pape via Taxacom:
> Actually, any description will be Code-compliant for these old names:
> 
> "To be available, every new name published before 1931 must [...] be accompanied by a description or a definition of the taxon that it denotes, or by an indication."
> 
> The requirement for intent (or actually "purport"), is for names proposed after 1930.
> 
> /Thomas
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe via Taxacom
> Sent: 20. marts 2020 01:33
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Francisco Welter-Schultes <fwelter at gwdg.de>
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Taxonomic question
> 
>  I would disagree very slightly with both Doug and Francisco in that I would say that it is the *intention* to denote a taxon which is the proper criterion, or else many old descriptions would be rendered unavailable for many important taxa! However, with a fossil, one might have to distinguish a taxonomic description from a mere description of which parts of the organism are preserved?
> Stephen
>      On Friday, 20 March 2020, 12:28:01 am UTC, Francisco Welter-Schultes via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
>  
>  1865 p. 468 should be this one:
> https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.biodiversitylibrary.org%2Fitem%2F96107%23page%2F508%2Fmode%2F1up&data=02%7C01%7Ctpape%40snm.ku.dk%7Cd439bae8e36e45ca923d08d7cc665862%7Ca3927f91cda14696af898c9f1ceffa91%7C0%7C0%7C637202612250462432&sdata=w3TwB%2FONSS3y6XHtZoNCoQaA%2FXWB6wBxdXX%2BJEDSdg0%3D&reserved=0
> 
> in addition to Doug's cited characters:
> 
> "the coriaceous integument of the body, and the hairs attached to the feet"
> and
> "resemblance to the recent genus Lycosa"
> 
> I would not employ the term "sad", for it lacks a neutral approach to the situation. Either this description denoted the taxon at the time when this was published, or not. Arachnological expertise is necessary to judge this. If it did not denote the taxon, i.e. if the description did clearly not allow to distinguish the taxon from others known at the time, then the next available source must be consulted.
> 
> -----
> Francisco
> 
> Am 20.03.2020 um 01:03 schrieb Doug Yanega via Taxacom:
>> I found "On a fossil spider from the coal-measures of Upper Silesia".
>>
>> If this is treated as acceptable, it is very sad indeed that "four
>> pairs of feet with all their segments and the two palpi" qualifies as
>> a Code-compliant description.
>>
>> Sigh.
>>
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