CHAPTER V. Valid publication of names
SECTION 2. Names of new taxa
- In order to be validly published, a name of a new taxon (see Art. 6.9) must (a) be accompanied by a description or diagnosis of the taxon or, if none is provided in the protologue, by a reference to a previously and effectively published description or diagnosis (except as provided in Art. 38.7, 38.8, and H.9; see also Art. 14.9 and 14.15); and (b) comply with the relevant provisions of Art. 32–45.
- An exception to Art. 38.1 is made for the generic names first published by Linnaeus in Species plantarum, ed. 1 (1753) and ed. 2 (1762–1763), which are treated as having been validly published in those works even though the validating descriptions were published later in Genera plantarum, ed. 5 (1754) and ed. 6 (1764), respectively (see Art. 13.4).
- A diagnosis of a taxon is a statement of that which in the opinion of its author distinguishes the taxon from other taxa.
- “Egeria” (Néraud in Gaudichaud, Voy. Uranie, Bot.: 25, 28. 1826) was published without a description or a diagnosis or a reference to a former one (and thus is a nomen nudum); it was not validly published.
- “Loranthus macrosolen Steud.” originally appeared without a description or diagnosis on the printed labels issued about the year 1843 with Sect. II, No. 529, 1288, of Schimper’s herbarium specimens of Abyssinian plants; the name was not validly published until Richard (Tent. Fl. Abyss. 1: 340. 1847) supplied a description.
- In Don, Sweet’s Hortus britannicus, ed. 3 (1839), for each listed species the flower colour, the duration of the plant, and a translation into English of the specific epithet are given in tabular form. In many genera the flower colour and duration may be identical for all species and clearly their mention is not intended as a validating description or diagnosis. Names of new taxa appearing in that work are not therefore validly published, except in some cases where reference is made to earlier descriptions or diagnoses.
- “Crepis praemorsa subsp. tatrensis” (Dvořák & Dadáková in Biológia (Bratislava) 32: 755. 1977) appeared with “a subsp. praemorsa karyotypo achaeniorumque longitudine praecipue differt”. This statement specifies the features in which the two taxa differ but not how these features differ and so it does not satisfy the requirement of Art. 38.1(a) for a “description or diagnosis”.
- The generic name Epilichen Clem. (Gen. Fungi: 69, 174. 1909) is validly published by means of the key character “parasitic on lichens” (contrasting with “saprophytic” for Karschia) and the Latin diagnosis “Karschia lichenicola”, referring to the ability of the included species formerly included in Karschia to grow on lichens. These statements, in the opinion of Clements, distinguished the genus from others, although provision of such a meagre diagnosis is not good practice.
- The requirements of Art. 38.1(a) are not met by statements describing properties such as purely aesthetic features, economic, medicinal or culinary use, cultural significance, cultivation techniques, geographical origin, or geological age.
- “Musa basjoo” (Siebold in Verh. Bat. Genootsch. Kunsten 12: 18. 1830) appeared with “Ex insulis Luikiu introducta, vix asperitati hiemis resistens. Ex foliis linteum, praesertim in insulis Luikiu ac quibusdam insulis provinciae Satzuma conficitur. Est haud dubie linteum, quod Philippinis incolis audit Nippis”. This statement gives information about the economic use (linen is made from the leaves), hardiness in cultivation (scarcely survives the winter), and geographical origin (introduced from the Ryukyu Islands), but since there is no descriptive information on the “leaves”, the only character mentioned, it does not satisfy the requirement of Art. 38.1(a) for a “description or diagnosis”. Musa basjoo Siebold & Zucc. ex Iinuma was later validly published in Iinuma, Sintei Somoku Dzusetsu [Illustrated Flora of Japan], ed. 2, 3: ad t. 1. 1874, with floral details and a description in Japanese.
- When it is doubtful whether a descriptive statement satisfies the requirement of Art. 38.1(a) for a “description or diagnosis”, a request for a decision may be submitted to the General Committee (see Div. III), which will refer it for examination to the Committee for the appropriate taxonomic group. A recommendation, whether or not to treat the name concerned as validly published, may then be put forward to an International Botanical Congress and, if ratified, will become a binding decision. These binding decisions are listed in App. VII.
- Ascomycota Caval.-Sm. (in Biol. Rev. 73: 247. 1998, as “Ascomycota Berkeley 1857 stat. nov.”) was published as the name of a phylum, with the diagnosis “sporae intracellulares”. As Cavalier-Smith (l.c.) did not provide a full and direct reference to Berkeley’s publication (Intr. Crypt. Bot.: 270. 1857) of the name Ascomycetes [not Ascomycota], valid publication of Ascomycota is dependent on its meeting the requirements of Art. 38.1(a), and a request was made for a binding decision under Art. 38.4. The Nomenclature Committee for Fungi concluded (in Taxon 59: 292. 2010) that the requirements of Art. 38.1(a) were minimally fulfilled and recommended that Ascomycota be treated as validly published. This was endorsed by the General Committee (in Taxon 60: 1212. 2011) and ratified by the XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne in 2011.
- The names of a genus and a species may be validly published simultaneously by provision of a single description (descriptio generico-specifica) or diagnosis, even though this may have been intended as only generic or specific, if all of the following conditions are satisfied: (a) the genus is at that time monotypic (see Art. 38.6); (b) no other names (at any rank) have previously been validly published based on the same type; and (c) the names of the genus and species otherwise fulfil the requirements for valid publication. Reference to an earlier description or diagnosis is not acceptable in place of a descriptio generico-specifica.
- For the purpose of Art. 38.5, a monotypic genus is one for which a single binomial is validly published even though the author may indicate that other species are attributable to the genus.
- Nylander (1879) described the new species “Anema nummulariellum” in a new genus “Anema” without providing a generic description or diagnosis. Since at the same time he also transferred Omphalaria nummularia Durieu & Mont. to “Anema”, none of his names was validly published. They were later validly published by Forsell (1885).
- The names Kedarnatha P. K. Mukh. & Constance (1986) and K. sanctuarii P. K. Mukh. & Constance, the latter designating the single, new species of the new genus, are both validly published although a Latin description was provided only under the generic name.
- Piptolepis phillyreoides Benth. (1840) was a new species assigned to the monotypic new genus Piptolepis. Both names were validly published with a combined generic and specific description.
- In publishing “Phaelypea” without a generic description or diagnosis, Browne (Civ. Nat. Hist. Jamaica: 269. 1756) included and described a single species, but he gave the species a phrase name not a validly published binomial. Art. 38.5 does not therefore apply and “Phaelypea” is not a validly published name.
- For the purpose of Art. 38.5, prior to 1 January 1908, an illustration with analysis (see Art. 38.9 and 38.10) is acceptable in place of a written description or diagnosis.
- The name of a new species or infraspecific taxon published before 1 January 1908 may be validly published even if only accompanied by an illustration with analysis (see Art. 38.9 and 38.10).
- When Velloso (in Fl. Flumin. Icon. 11: ad t. 67. 1831) published “Polypodium subulatum”, only an illustration of part of a frond, without analysis, was presented. This drawing does not fulfill the provisions of Art. 38.8, thus this name was not validly published there, but was validly published when Velloso’s fern species descriptions appeared (in Arch. Mus. Nac. Rio de Janeiro 5: 447. 1881).
- For the purpose of this Code, an analysis is a figure or group of figures, commonly separate from the main illustration of the organism (though usually on the same page or plate), showing details aiding identification, with or without a separate caption (see also Art. 38.10).
- For organisms other than vascular plants, single figures showing details aiding identification are considered as illustrations with analysis (see also Art. 38.9).
- For the purpose of valid publication of a name of a new taxon, reference to a previously and effectively published description or diagnosis is restricted as follows: (a) for a name of a family or subdivision of a family, the earlier description or diagnosis must be that of a family or subdivision of a family; (b) for a name of a genus or subdivision of a genus, the earlier description or diagnosis must be that of a genus or subdivision of a genus; and (c) for a name of a species or infraspecific taxon, the earlier description or diagnosis must be that of a species or infraspecific taxon (but see Art. 38.12).
- “Pseudoditrichaceae fam. nov.” (Steere & Iwatsuki in Canad. J. Bot. 52: 701. 1974) was not a validly published name of a family as there was no Latin description or diagnosis nor reference to either, but only mention of the single included genus and species (see Art. 36.1(d)), as “Pseudoditrichum mirabile gen. et sp. nov.”, the names of which were both validly published under Art. 38.5 by a single Latin diagnosis.
- Presl did not validly publish “Cuscuteae” (in Presl & Presl, Delic. Prag.: 87. 1822) as the name of a family (see “Praemonenda”, pp. [3–4]) by direct reference to the previously and effectively published description of “Cuscuteae” (Berchtold & Presl, Přir. Rostlin: 247. 1820) because the latter is the name of an order (see Art. 18 *Ex. 5).
- Scirpoides Ség. (Pl. Veron. Suppl.: 73. 1754) was published without a generic description or diagnosis. It was validly published by indirect reference (through the title of the book and a general statement in the preface) to the generic diagnosis and further direct references in Séguier (Pl. Veron. 1: 117. 1745).
- As Art. 38.11 places no restriction on names at ranks higher than family, Eucommiales Němejc ex Cronquist (Integr. Syst. Class. Fl. Pl.: 182. 1981) was validly published by Cronquist, who provided a full and direct reference to the Latin description associated with the genus Eucommia Oliv. (1890).
- A name of a new species may be validly published by reference (direct or indirect; see Art. 38.13 and 38.14) to a description or diagnosis of a genus, if the following conditions are satisfied: (a) the name of the genus was previously and validly published simultaneously with its description or diagnosis and (b) neither the author of the name of the genus nor the author of the name of the species indicates that more than one species belongs to the genus in question.
- Trilepisium Thouars (1806) was validated by a generic description but without mention of a name of a species. Trilepisium madagascariense DC. (1825) was subsequently proposed without a description or diagnosis of the species and with the generic name followed by a reference to Thouars. Neither author gave any indication that there was more than one species in the genus. Candolle’s species name is therefore validly published.
- For the purpose of valid publication of a name of a new taxon, reference to a previously and effectively published description or diagnosis may be direct or indirect (Art. 38.14). For names published on or after 1 January 1953 it must, however, be full and direct as specified in Art. 41.5.
- An indirect reference is a clear (if cryptic) indication, by an author citation or in some other way, that a previously and effectively published description or diagnosis applies.
- “Kratzmannia” (Opiz in Berchtold & Opiz, Oekon.-Techn. Fl. Böhm. 1: 398. 1836) was published with a diagnosis but was not definitely accepted by the author and therefore was not validly published under Art. 36.1(a). Kratzmannia Opiz (Seznam: 56. 1852), lacking description or diagnosis, is however definitely accepted, and its citation as “Kratzmannia O.” constitutes an indirect reference to the diagnosis published in 1836.
- A name of a new taxon should not be validated solely by a reference to a description or diagnosis published before 1753.
- The description of any new taxon should mention the points in which the taxon differs from its allies.
- When naming a new taxon, authors should not adopt a name that has been previously but not validly published for a different taxon.
- In describing or diagnosing new taxa, authors should, when possible, supply figures with details of structure as an aid to identification.
- In the explanation of figures, authors should indicate the specimen(s) on which they are based (see also Rec. 8A.2).
- Authors should indicate clearly and precisely the scale of the figures that they publish.