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Nomen Nudems everywhere!!!! ... or are they???

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Posted by WW on May 20, 2003 at 09:48:10:

In Reply to: Nomen Nudems everywhere!!!! ... or are they??? posted by rayhoser on May 19, 2003 at 23:06:46:

:Basically, it appears that you and WW think my diagnosis is ratfeces or words to that effect.

The quality was not the issue, the availability of the name under ICZN rules was.

:I took the liberty of running the comments past a few other taxonomists here and they made the following comments.
:They said that if my diagnosis is no good then it would follow that OSB is not a valid taxa and hence the name OSB is not valid.
:However if my diagnosis is no good, but I have still fixed a holotype for a hitherto unrecognised taxa as regulated by the ICZN's code then the name OSB remains the one and only one that can be used, due the description conforming to the code itself.

That latter phrase is the crucial one. To be available, a name needs to be accompanied by a diagnosis. Int he words of the Code, article 13.1.1 it needs to be "accompanied by a description or definition that states in words characters that are purported to differentiate the taxon". You did not provide a diagnosis based on morphological characters (in fact, you explicitly sate that OSS an OSB are not distinguishable). The only diagnostic feature you give is range: "Oxyuranus scutellatus barringeri is separated from other Tapians Oxyuranus scutellatus scutellatus and Oxyuranus scutellatus canni by distribution." The availability of your name under the rules of the Code thus hinge on whether distribution constitutes a character that fulfills the requirements of article 13.1.1.

Your statement that "The three forms are further separated by DNA analysis" is a red herring since DNA analysis is a method rather than a character. Kind of like saying "these species can be told apart by counting scales", instead of giving scale counts.

:Aparantly the same thing happened with Cyclodomorphus michaeli, which was allegedly improperly diagnosed in the original description, but when revisited by Shea, he was forced to use that name as a HOLOTYPE for the taxa had been fixed AND there was a diagnosis published, even though it was completely wrong (allegedly).

Nothing to do with whether it is correct or not, only with whether or not it satisfies the requirements of the Code.

:I was also told that should another person write a "NEW" description of OSB and called it something else, that'd be to my advantage (If this is the correct ay to put it) in that the description would presumably add weight to my original contention that OSB is distinct and worthy of such recognition.
:Any subsequent name would in effect be a junior synonym of OSB and hence OSB's common usage would be further cemented.

That is the question - if the name barringeri is in fact available (i.e., if a stated different distribution fulfills the requirements of article 13.1.1) then yes, barringeri would have priority. If distribution does not fulfill the requirements of that article, then barringeri is a nomen nudum, and any other name coined for that population would be valid and have precendence.

:BTW In relation to the header of this post, another one of my alleged numen nudems Acanthophis wellsi has moved into even more common usage, with (for example) even the WA Wildlife department (no mates of mine!!) using the name on their own website and published literature.

Nobody has ever said that A. wellsi is a nomen nudum. And the reason why it is widely recognised is because Aplin & Donnellan did a decent job redescribing it.



:Go to:
:Which has a photo of "Pilbara Death Adder (Acanthophis wellsi)".
:Maybe herr Wolfgang should jump down their throats and lecture them about the alleged inadequacies of my original description and how it should be an alleged nomen nudem.
:Ditto for that weigeli thing and the other critters I either described or redescribed from WA.

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