Chapter 12: Homonymy

Article 52. Principle of Homonymy.

52.1. Statement of the Principle of Homonymy. When two or more taxa are distinguished from each other they must not be denoted by the same name.

52.2. Operation of the Principle of Homonymy. When two or more names are homonyms, only the senior, as determined by the Principle of Priority (see Article 52.3), may be used as a valid name; for exceptions see Articles 23.2 and 23.9 (unused senior homonyms) and Article 59 (secondary homonyms in the species group).

52.3. Principle of Priority applies. The relative precedence of homonyms (including primary and secondary homonyms in the case of species-group names) is determined by applying the relevant provisions of the Principles of Priority and the First Reviser [Arts. 23, 24].

52.4. Replacement of junior homonyms. See Articles 23.3.5, 23.9.5, 39, 55 and 60.

52.5. Suppression of senior homonyms. See Articles 54.4, 81.2.1.

52.6. Incorrect and corrected original spellings. The corrected spelling of an incorrect original spelling may enter homonymy but an incorrect original spelling cannot [Art. 32.4].

52.7. Homonymy with names of taxa which are not animals. The name of an animal taxon identical with the name of a taxon which has never been treated as animal is not a homonym for the purposes of zoological nomenclature [Arts. 1.4, 2.2].

Preamble | Articles 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 | Glossary Appendices Constitution

FranciscoWelterSchultes   Art. 52.1
Should be slightly modified to avoid misunderstandings.

"52.1. Statement of the Principle of Homonymy. When two or more taxa at the same level (species group, genus group or family group) are distinguished from each other they must not be denoted by the same name."

This is implicit in the Glossary (definition of the term "homonym"), but a discussion in the [iczn-list] forum (January 2013) revealed that zoologists have problems in properly understanding this Article in its present form (they thought that a family name can be a homonym of a genus-group name).
Some examples for non-homonyms:
Acanthocephala is a well-known group of gnathiferan worms. Acanthocephala Laporte 1832 is a genus of American bugs (Hemiptera).
Trochoidea is a superfamily of large sea snails (Gastropoda), a name derived from the generic name Trochus. The same name Trochoidea Brown 1827 is a genus of European terrestrial snails.
Chitonoidea is a superfamily of chitons (Polyplacophora), a name derived from Chiton. Chitonoidea Svihla 1983 is a genus of Iranian beetles (Coleoptera).
Delphinoidea is a superfamily of toothed whales (Mammalia), a name derived from Delphinus. Delphinoidea Brown 1827 is a genus of tiny marine snails (Gastropoda).
Likewise generic names are Acrania Burr 1915 (Dermaptera), Amphibia Berthold 1827 (Pulmonata), Aptera Saussure 1864 (Orthoptera), Ciliata Couch 1832 (Actinopterygii), Homoptera Boisduval 1852 (Lepidoptera), Mecoptera Guenée 1837 (Lepidoptera), Radiolaria Provancher 1886 (Hymenoptera), Trichoptera Meigen 1803 (Diptera).

2013-01-04 10:13:16
FranciscoWelterSchultes   Art 52.8
A new Article should be inserted to explicitly prevent subsequent uses of names to be defined as homonymous new names.

These cases are already covered by the Glossary, but this is frequently overlooked (also because the wording in the Glossary is extremely blurry and only insiders seem to understand it) and a clear ruling to avoid incorrect conclusions would be useful.

"Art. 52.8 The status of a name as "new" must be derived from taxonomic criteria and the Code's rules, and not from an author's declaration, regardless if intended or not. The fact that a name was declared as new in a second source (by the same author or by a different author) must not be regarded as a decisive criterion."

This should be clearly stated in a direct form in an Article, because various taxonomists (often taxonomists who are relatively new in the field) think that authors' statements are superior to the Code's rules.

The problem is most evident in genus-group names, when a first author classified a few species in a genus without fixing a type, and a second author classified a few other very similar species in a genus for which the same name was selected. See my comment under Art. 53.

The rule would also cover cases where an author submitted a manuscript to various journals with proposals of new names, and various journals published the paper ("again declared as new"). The Code should give a clear guide that such names "again declared as new" were not new in the sense of the Code, but were only subsequent uses without nomenclatural relevance, in the absence of any other contrary indications.
The permanent disputes in mailing lists (Taxacom, iczn-list) and entries in electronic recources reflect the need for a clear ruling.

In sources after 1999 the problem is less dramatic, but "new species" due to careless multiple submitting of manuscripts is still possible and a clear guide that such names would not enter zoological nomenclature, would be very useful in that a lot of unnecessarily spent time (in discussions and in documentation) would be saved.
2012-11-18 09:32:47
FranciscoWelterSchultes   Art. 52.7
Should be slightly modified, with a restriction to recently established names.
I would like to propose that botanical genera should not any longer be repeated in zoology. New genera should not be allowed if they have botanical equivalents (see my comment under Art. 1.4).
There is no need to continue establishing identical names in the biological nomenclatures. Research engines cannot distinguish between botanical and zoological names. I also observed that authors of publications just say "in this region Xgenus was observed", and it was not clear what was meant, Xgenus (plants) or Xgenus (animals).
2009-07-17 13:15:23

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