Chapter 14: Types in the Family Group

Article 62. Application. The provisions of this Chapter apply equally to nominal family-group taxa at any rank (superfamily, family, subfamily, tribe, subtribe and at any other rank below superfamily and above genus) [Art. 35.1].

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FranciscoWelterSchultes   Art. 61.1.3

There are trends to skip this provision (priority rule for type species) by defining a genus for which a different type species is given, as a new "synonymous" genus. Such an interpretation is probably not in the sense of the Code and it would make sense to find something in the Code to restrict such interpretations (this was the subject of a discussion at the [Taxacom] listserver in June 2012).

Example: fish genus Gymnochanda Fraser-Brunner, 1955. Boeseman 1957 did not know that the generic name had already been established, and designated a different type species for it. It was later recognised as a new genus Gymnochanda Boeseman, 1957. Both genera are currently in the family Ambassidae. The one name is currently considered a synonym of the other, both types have been considered congeneric at the time, and are still today.

This interpretation procedure contrasts basic rules and ideas of the Code, for example if a new species is established in this genus, there are no rules for the parentheses (because the author of the new species would not specify which one of the two genera were used).

It would be good to have a direct restriction in the Code to ban such interpretations. If the type species are considered congeneric, then the second author cannot establish a new homonymous genus-group name. A generic homonym can only be recognised as established if it is clear that the previously established generic name would clearly not fit in the concept applied by the subsequent author, or in other words, had the subsequent author known that the generic name had already been established, then this genus would not have been used at that occasion.

A direct expression if the following idea in the legal text of the Code would also be helpful:
"An incorrect citation of a type species, whether or not originally included, does not establish a new genus-group name."

One example at the other side of the limit is the generic name Argus, given in ICZN Opinion 429:
Argus Scopoli 1763 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Polyommatinae)
Argus Scopoli 1777 (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae)
Argus Lamarck 1817 (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae)
Argus Gerhard 1850 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Theclinae)

These are probably true different generic names. The authors were not aware of the previous use and/or used the name Argus in a sense that was outside the previous use of that name. If someone returns to classifying all butterflies in the genus Papilio, then Argus Scopoli 1763, Argus Scopoli 1777 and Argus Gerhard 1850 would become homonymous synonyms.
2012-06-07 12:25:08
FranciscoWelterSchultes   Art. 61 is locked (CouldNotLock Error), so comments for Art. 61 are deposited here.

Art. 61.3.1 should be modified.

61.3.1. If nominal taxa with different name-bearing (or the same but multiple) types are referred to a single taxonomic taxon, their names are subjective synonyms at the rank of that taxon (but need not be synonyms at a subordinate rank).

I would recommend this addition "(or the same but multiple)", because if two species have the same two syntypes they do not have different name-bearing types, but they are not objective synonyms (one could select specimen A as the lectotype for species 1 and specimen B for species 2).

2011-02-12 18:43:05

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