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RE: Citing combinations with subgenera
I would more or less support Mike Keesey's suggestion. The ICZN is
explicit about the usage of parentheses around the authority, and
requires _Pteranodon (Geosternbergia) sternbergi_ Harksen, 1966. The
only alternative I would suggest is that, if you are presenting this in
a synonymy list, you might use a colon - _Pteranodon (Geosternbergia)
sternbergi_ Harksen: Miller 1978. Also, _Nyctosaurus_ Marsh, 1876
remains as such whether it is counted as a genus or subgenus. Because
the ICZN sorts names by groups of ranks rather than by every individual
rank, it wouldn't regard genus _Nyctosaurus_ and subgenus _Nyctosaurus_
as different taxa. Similarly, a taxon described as a subspecies that is
later raised to species rank within the same genus does not get
parentheses around the authority. Of course, any species originally
described in _Nyctosaurus_ as a separate genus _would_ get parentheses
around the authority if _Nyctosaurus_ became a subgenus, because they'd
be changing genera.
One other point you might like to consider is that citation of the
subgenus name, even if one is current, is optional rather than
mandatory. So if you were to place the authority in parentheses due to
changes in subgenus, you'd be arguing for a distinction between
_Pteranodon sternbergi_ Harksen, 1966 (no subgenus) and _Pteranodon
sternbergi_ (Harksen, 1966) (placed in a subgenus that is not being
Final point - the primary purpose of the authority citation in the
zoological name is actually not to give credit to the author, but to
establish that name's priority relative to other taxa.
Dept of Environmental Biology
Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U1987
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf
> Mike Hanson
> Sent: Saturday, 27 September 2008 7:16 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Citing combinations with subgenera
> An even better example of the problem would be Pteranodon (Longicepia)
> longiceps, let's just forget that (Longicepia) is invalid for the
> Pteranodon longiceps is cited as Marsh, 1876, for both genus and
> but (Longicepia) is from Miller, 1972. Or Pteranodon (Longicepia)
> Marsh named the species in 1872, the combination Pteranodon ingens was
> first established by Marsh in 1876, and Olshevsky first added in
> (Longicepia) in 1978. That last example probably illustrates the issue
> best, the genus-species combination is the same as an earlier one, but
> there is now a subgenus thrown in.
> Also, what about citing uses of already-named genera as subgenera or
> versa, like Nyctosaurus Marsh, 1876 which is used as a subgenus in
> 1972. Should I cite that as (Nyctosaurus) Marsh, 1876 sensu Miller,
> (as a subgenus)?
> David Marjanovic wrote:
> >> The ICZN states: 'If it is desired to cite both the author of a
> species-group nominal taxon and the person who first transferred it to
> another genus, the name of the person forming the new combination
> follow the parentheses that enclose the name of the author of the
> group name'.
> >> [...]
> >> and Pteranodon (Geosternbergia) sternbergi (Harksen, 1966) Miller,
> is evidently improper.
> > But this is exactly what your quote of the ICZN says -- except that
> applies to genera rather than subgenera... but maybe you should use it
> anyway. After all, the species name is due to Harksen, and the name as
> whole in that form is due to Miller.
> >> Mike Keesey suggested Pteranodon (Geosternbergia) sternbergi
> 1966 per Miller, 1978, but this seems odd to me.
> > Among other things because _per_ isn't mentioned in the ICZN. (That
> means it can't be wrong, though.)
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