[Taxacom] Taxonomic question

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Fri Mar 20 06:04:56 CDT 2020


It depends. If a new elephant species is presented and this size is 
given, this would be diagnostic. For non-elephants not always.

-----
Francisco

Am 20.03.2020 um 03:01 schrieb Stephen Thorpe:
>   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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