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Re: Paleozoic tetrapod papers
From: Ben Creisler
Evidently the paper is phylogenetic and non-Linnean (per personal
communication), so the ICZN nomenclatural rules for forming ranked
names above the generic level are not recognized. This allows the
authors to propose Eucacopinae as a clade that looks like a
"subfamily" (with an -inae ending) but really is not, and does not
need to follow ICZN rules and recommendations.
This practice may seem a bit confusing to the unwary when the old
-oidea, -idae,-inae, -ini suffixes are still used.
Perhaps authors who don't recognize ICZN hierarchies above the genus
could routinely add a brief note to indicate something such as "Clades
above the generic level are intended as unranked and not governed by
ICZN Linnean-hierarchical provisions." Simply called everything a
clade may not alert all readers to a non-Linnean approach.
Some authors may use unranked clades but still follow ICZN rules for
forming and spelling names with the suffixes -oidea, -idae, -inae,
-ini, using the name of an established genus without adding prefixes.
They may also place -oidea before -idae in branching diagrams, -idae
before -inae, etc. This is not really a problem. The ICZN rules are
generally followed in name formation and sequencing, but any
implication of a true Linnean hierarchy is rejected.
Other authors may create unranked clades with the suffixes -oidea,
-idae, -inae, etc., but may name such clades based on a term that is
not a generic name (i.e, Eucacopinae). In such cases, I think some
direct statement that the authors do not recognize ICZN rules in name
formation for clades other than genus and species would be helpful.
On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 7:01 PM, Tim Williams <email@example.com> wrote:
> David Marjanovic <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> There _is_ something wrong with having homonyms that are governed by the
>> same code, and the ICZN governs all names at the species-group, genus-group
>> and family-group ranks.
>> The rank of subfamily (with its mandatory ending -inae) belongs to the
>> family group.
> I agree that homonyms should never be allowed for genera/species.
> Having two genera named _Cacops_ would be a very bad thing, and this
> is something that the ICZN should police. But I can't understand why
> it's so bad to have two clades named Cacopinae.
> Having the ICZN govern all family-level clades is more of a hindrance
> than a help. In the age of phylogenetic taxonomy there is no good
> reason why a clade ending in family-group suffix (such as -inae or
> -idae) has to follow one set of rules, whereas a clade ending in any
> other suffix follows another. This quaint tradition goes against the
> grain of current phylogenetic taxonomy, which uses hierarchial clades,
> and sensibly ignores Linnaean ranks such as "phylum" and "order" and
> The reason why I think Eucacopinae is a bad idea is because this name
> implies it contains a genus called Eucacops. As mentioned, the
> problem could have been bypassed by calling the new clade
> ("subfamily") Cacopsinae or Aspidosaurinae.
>> Orders and phyla, conversely, do not belong to any of those groups; most
>> rules of the ICZN, including priority, don't apply to them.
> Yes, the ICZN says we can have two clades named Tardigrada (because
> it's not a "family group" name) but not two clades named Cacopinae
> (because the -inae suffix deems it to be a family-group name). Ranks
> such as "phylum" and "order" and "subfamily" have long outlived their
> usefulness. So we do we still stick to these outdated ICZN
> conventions for family-level groups?