Message 2001-03-0008: Re: GALTONIA (a test case?)

Sat, 10 Mar 2001 15:09:56 -0800 (PST)

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Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 15:09:56 -0800 (PST)
From: "Jaime A. Headden" <>
Subject: Re: GALTONIA (a test case?)

  Time to start arguing and work proactively :). Ken's full text
is supplied for perusal to those who've not seen the original on
the DML. I appologize for the cross-posting, this has already
taken long enough....

Ken Kinman ( wrote:

<The question is, should we do something proactively to minimize
future confusion over homonyms like Galtonia (PhyloCode is
coming, like it or not). 
  There is no big problem under traditional codes---the
zoologists use it for a dinosaur genus, and botanists have long
used it for a genus of flowering plants.  There is almost no
chance that this dinosaur and these flowers existed at the same
time (much less that this dinosaur ate such flowers), so
confusion is not anticipated under ICZN and ICBN.
  *However*, when PhyloCode kicks in, we have potential
problems. Since Galtonia the flower is obviously an older name
and morphologically far better known (Galtonia the dinosaur is
based on very little material), I assume dinosaurologists will
allow Galtonia the flower to be cladistically defined first (and
retain its priority).>

  Preceedence of literature should be the primary criterion in
establishing the homonym clause of the PhyloCode. A secondary
criterion whoulc be the prevalence of use and the multitude of
inclusive taxa which use the genus eponymously, so that
ramifications become much more subdued should a descision be
altered. I would opt for a new name established to *Galtonia
gibbidens* if Mike's suggestion of an Ornithischia [nomen]
*gibbidens* is not unreasonable, to avoid further conflict. Of
course, I'm all for not using any tooth taxon period, making
them all nomina dubia, but in some cases, the nomina are useful
referrence criteria and that's why they're there in the first

  But what if both homonyms have long taxonomic history, and
several inclusive taxa are establish eponymously? If we have a
-iformes and -ales, and a -idae and a -aceae named for two
different but closely established names? How would a commitee
decide this? What would be the merits of the case if
hypothetical "Bentonia" was both a flower, and a mouse genus,
and there were similarly a "Bentoniidae," a "Bentoniaceae," a
"Bentoniiformes," and a "Bentoniales," and they were named with
a year, and as far as fifty years ago, and the establishment of
inclusive taxa was established later and included more taxa than
just the respective "Bentonia"s, what would be the descision?

<Since Galtonia the flower is obviously an older name and
morphologically far better known (Galtonia the dinosaur is based
on very little material), I assume dinosaurologists will allow
Galtonia the flower to be cladistically defined first (and
retain its priority).>

  We can always suggest "Galtonides" if that does not further
conflict with another genus [praenomen]....

<But if there is not some agreement on such cases beforehand, I 
can envision a zoologist jumping the gun and trying to
cladistically define something like the dinosaur Galtonia to get
it priority under PhyloCode (and this would just make
traditional botanists very angry and perhaps phylogenetic
botanists as well).>

  This is what I fear, as well. Will the PhyloCode give
precedence to an author who wants his genus established first,
before a homonym is supplied for consideration? A list of
reference homonyms would be ideal. Perhaps a perusal of the
Literature from Linnaeus onward should be done and cross-checked
so that homonyms in Plantae and Animalia and Fungi can be
evaluated for research on use and establishing committees on
priotity. The sooner this is done the less harm in conflict in
whose names gets validated. If the original author is still
alive, s/he/they can have the opportunity to suggest a
replacement name....

<Luckily in this case, the dinosaur taxon only has one species,
so I doubt this would happen (although discovery of a more
complete, but distinct species of this dinosaur could
muddy the water----but what are the odds of
that?---realistically very remote, thank goodness).
  My question to those who favor PhyloCode is this: Is anything
being done proactively to prevent such problems with homonyms,
rather than just waiting to see what happens, and then have a
PhyloCode committee make a decision after such problems arise?
  Of course, in real life, the case for Galtonia (the flower) 
getting PhyloCode priority is so strong that I doubt any
zoologist would try to undermine it. However, there are going to
be a lot of other cases that aren't nearly this clear cut.>

  True. But the establishment of major groups would be a strong
case for leaning into one or the other. In the absence of living
authorship, the major workers of that group can gather or
converse on possible corrections and replacements.

  "Here we suggest a replacement name for "___" [cite] in light
of homonymy with the prior established "___" [cite], this name
being "___" [etymology]." In most cases, a new ending "-ops" for
lots of animals has the double meaning typically given the
aspect of a new face, etc., or "-oides" or "-ides" being
similar, ir "-iscus" as was popular in past times, would be the
easiest way. If those names would be difficult or run into
homonymy, simply modifying the name, as suggested by Criesler
and Chatterjee for the names "Turneria" and "Walkeria" can be
modified with a new preffix, such as part of the first name, or
with "Neo-", etc. Plants, as suggested by others, can be
appellated with a "Phyto-" or similar stem, and we go on.
Picking names isn't that hard, but the conflict on what name
stays is the need for a test case.

  So I agree with Ken, *Galtonia* could be a test case [not the
best, there are other prevalent homonyms out there for this that
would make great test cases], and this can be applied in
anticipation of the PhyloCode, not neccessarily because of it,
just to avoid confusion when the Code does hit. So too for other
names. The more we trim and tuck, the less mess when the Code

  Jaime A. Headden,

  Signing Off. Good Evening, Vietnam!

  --- well it's afternoon now, buyt who cares? :)

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