Message 2001-03-0003: Fwd: Re: GALTONIA THE FLOWER

Fri, 09 Mar 2001 09:00:27 -0500

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Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 09:00:27 -0500
From: Philip Cantino <>

>On Mon, 5 Mar 2001, Mickey_Mortimer wrote:
>   > This is a bit off-topic, but if a plant and animal can have the same name,
>   > what about other organisms?  Where does the definition of "animal" and
>   > "plant" stop when it comes to nomenclature?  Could you
>hypothetically name a
>   > chondrocyte the same thing as a demosponge?  And what about fungi,
>   > eubacteria, archaea and viruses, not to mention the many unicellular
>   > eukaryotes?

T. Michael Keesey wrote:

>So far as I know, the only codes governing organismal nomenclature are the
>ICZN (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature), the ICBN
>(International Code of Botanical Nomenclature), and the Bacteriological
>Code (International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria). I know these govern
>*at least* Animalia, Fungi + Plantae, and non-eukaryotan Biota,
>respectively (and probably more). That's a good question -- who governs
>organisms which don't fall in these categories?
>Trying to remember if PhyloCode (which is supposed to govern all Biota)
>covers the issue of duplicate names....

The ICZN not only covers Animalia but also protistan groups that at
one time were classified as animals (protozoa).  Similarly, the ICBN
covers an assortment of protistan groups that at one time were
classified as plants (e.g., algae, slime molds, Oomycetes) as well as
Cyanobacteria.  There is also the Intenational Code of Virus
Classification and Nomenclature

The PhyloCode does not specifically address duplicate names under
different preexisting codes (except by example--see Note 13.2.3,
Example 1), but it treats these names the same way it treats any
other kind of homonym.  Article 13.3 reads: If a name has been
established for two or more different taxa, the only taxon for which
it is an acceptable name is the taxon to which it was applied
earliest, except in cases of conservation. A later homonym, unless
conserved, is not an acceptable name of any taxon."  ["Established"
and "applied" refer to establishment under the PhyloCode, not under
the ICBN, ICZN, etc.]

For example, Prunella is currently the name of both a genus of birds
(ICZN) and a genus of plants (ICBN).  If this name were adopted under
the PhyloCode for a clade of birds, and someone subsequently wanted
to name a clade under the PhyloCode corresponding to the plant genus
Prunella, it would have to be named something else.  One might want
to choose a name like Phytoprunella under the PhyloCode to retain a
reference to its name under the ICBN, but if someone named the plant
clade Prunella under the PhyloCode, he/she would have created a
homonym, and the earlier homonym (the bird clade Prunella) would have
precedence over the later one.


Philip D. Cantino
Professor and Chair
Department of Environmental and Plant Biology
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701-2979

Phone: (740) 593-1128; 593-1126
Fax: (740) 593-1130


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