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Re: New papers in Geobios (and nomenclatoral gripe)

Mickey Mortimer wrote:

I agree with Chris. This is not possible to do. You can't just sink a named species into an unspecified unnamed "sp.", regardless of what Weishampel thinks. It's like when authors try to sink whole genera into "Theropoda indet." and just pretend the genus and species names don't exist. If Mochlodon suessi's holotype is referrable to Zalmoxes but not specifically diagnostic, there should be three species of Mochlodon - M. robustus, M. shqiperorum and M. suessi. The latter could be the holotype yet still be specifically indeterminate.

I respectfully disagree. If a species is declared to be a nomen dubium, then this species has no taxonomic standing whatsoever. If the species in question is the type species for a genus, then this genus is also invalid. However, the type material for a nomen dubium may be diagnostic at the genus level. If _Mochlodon suessi_ is not diagnostic at the species level, then _M. suessi_ is a nomen dubium; and if _M. suessi_ is the type species for _Mochlodon_, then _Mochlodon_ is an invalid genus. But if the type material can be referred to another genus (i.e., one that is valid), its generic identity can be indicated as "_Zalmoxes_ sp." (as in this case).

There are other examples similar to the _Mochlodon_ situation. Carpenter (1990) regarded _Denversaurus schlessmani_ as a nomen dubium, although he found the type material to be referrable to _Edmontonia_, as _Edmontonia_ sp. He did not create the new combination _Edmontonia schlessmani_, because the characters used to define the species _Denversaurus schlessmani_ were invalid.