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Re: Typical and less typical types

    Only one fine point has been missed :-). The '50-year rule' (that a name
can be automatically suppressed in favour of a junior synonym if it hasn't
been used for over 50 years, and the preferred name has been used in at
least 25 publications spanning a period of not less than ten years since
then) is a separate matter, not connected to 'nomen dubium' status, but to
'nomen oblitum' ('forgotten name') status. A nomen dubium is a
nomenclatorially valid name whose biological status can't be determined
satisfactorily; a nomen oblitum is a name that has been overlooked for
whatever reason, and whose use now would just make everyone confused and
sulky because it would replace a commonly-used, more familiar name. The
'50-year rule' was only introduced in the latest (1999) edition of the ICZN,
to make recognition of nomina oblita (which are usually fairly obvious) more
automatic and speed up the nomenclatorial process (we don't have to sit
around waiting for an Opinion before we can get on with our lives).
Previously, an actual ICZN Opinion was necessary before a name could be
called a nomen oblitum., and should probably still be called for if there's
ever any doubt.
    I'm not sure if this rule would apply in the _Antrodemus_ case, though -
the ideal behind a 'nomen oblitum' is that the name hasn't been used at all
since original publication - i.e. the original publication itself did not
come to the attention of anyone since. The name _Antrodemus_, while not
generally used, has probably popped up enough to indicate that people are
aware of it, just not using it.


        Christopher Taylor

PS. Peanuts hurt - tomatoes please, they're softer, and I can have a salad
later. :-P

On 11/8/04 5:05 am, "Phil Bigelow" <bigelowp@juno.com> wrote:

> On Wed, 11 Aug 2004 09:36:58 +1200 Christopher Taylor
> <ck.taylor@auckland.ac.nz> writes:
>> If I was to decide that _Antrodemus
>> valens_
>> definitely came from the same species as _Allosaurus fragilis_ (as
>> some
>> people did for a while), I would *have* to use the name _Antrodemus
>> valens_,
>> because it was named first (I think :-) ). I couldn't continue to
>> use
>> _Allosaurus fragilis_ on the basis that _A. valens_ was based on
>> shonky
>> material. We still use _Allosaurus fragilis_ because we *can't* be
>> certain
>> that the two are, in fact, the same species.
> What about the so-called "50-year rule"?  _Allosaurus fragilis_ has been
> used almost exclusively in the scientific literature for the last 50
> years.  IF the two were ever unambiguously found to be the same species
> (doubtful, considering the material in the _A. valens_ type), I suspect
> that the name _Allosaurus fragilis_ would still be retained, even though
> _Antrodemus. valens_, presently a nomen dubium, has publication date
> priority.
> Or am I missing a fine point somewhere?
>> Cheers, and hope that all this doesn't
>> confuse everyone too much,
> Speaking as a member of the Peanut Gallery, I think the jury is still out
> on deciding how confused we are.  ;-)