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RE: Stegosaur volume of Swiss Journal of Geosciences



David Marjanovic wrote-

> The problem, as I see it, is that the ICZN sees it the other way around.
> *S. armatus* cannot be _referred_ to *Stegosaurus*, it _is_
> *Stegosaurus* _by definition_. The question is whether *S. _stenops_*
> can be referred to *S.*.
>
> ...and if so, on what criteria. After all, the ICZN does not require
> genera to be monophyletic; it requires diagnoses, but those diagnoses
> don't need to contain any apomorphies.
>
> Is it impossible to reliably distinguish *S. armatus* from at least two
> other named species that can be distinguished from each other? Then it's
> a nomen dubium, and AFAIK *S.* as a whole is a nomen dubium, too, and so
> is Stegosauridae. I'll look this up in the ICZN sometime.

I'd like to know where it says that in the ICZN.  I wouldn't doubt the ICZN 
says a genus needs a valid species to be valid itself, but "valid" in the ICZN 
generally refers to nomenclatural validity (as in if the name follows the ICZN 
rules and thus is not a nomen nudum).  The only references to nomen dubia 
and/or indeterminate specimens I see are-

"Introduction 8. If the existing name-bearing type of a species-group 
taxon is indeterminate, so that the correct application of the name to a
 particular taxon is doubtful (i.e. the name is a nomen dubium), an author 
should request the Commission to set it aside and designate a neotype."

"75.5. Replacement of unidentifiable name-bearing type by a neotype.
 When an author considers that the taxonomic identity of a nominal 
species-group taxon cannot be determined from its existing name-bearing 
type (i.e. its name is a nomen dubium), and stability or 
universality are threatened thereby, the author may request the 
Commission to set aside under its plenary power [Art. 81] the existing 
name-bearing type and designate a neotype."

So really, S. armatus should get a neotype instead of S. stenops being made the 
new Stegosaurus type.  If we were following the ICZN that is.

Mickey Mortimer