Message 2001-06-0096: Re: hands off genera?

Fri, 18 May 2001 20:56:01 +0200

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Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 20:56:01 +0200
From: David Marjanovic <>
To: PhyloCode mailing list <>
Subject: Re: hands off genera?

> Ken Kinman wrote:
> >        During those same discussions, you probably recall that I
> >suggested that
> >generic names (as well as specific names) not be included in the initial
> >testing phase of phylocode.  Now others are suggesting the same thing on
> >list.
> >        Is this being seriously considered?  [...]
> No, it isn't being seriously considered.  A clade is a clade,
> regardless of its rank under the ICBN, ICZN, etc.  If the PhyloCode
> is to be logically consistent and cohesive, it must govern the naming
> of all clades.  Furthermore, there are practical problems with
> excluding genus names.  Some clades are classified under the current
> system as genera by some authors and as subgenera by others.

Oh, yeah, my error -- there are virtually no subgenera in vertebrate
paleontology, so I simply forgot about them (not one subgenus of Mesozoic
dinosaur is currently recognized). Sections are apparently peculiar to
botanics, so I forgot about them, too.

> To me,
> it makes no sense to place restrictions on the PhyloCode based on
> arbitrary ranking decisions under the traditional system.

I support that suggestion mainly because the binomial system, to which
everyone is used much more than to higher ranks, requires genera, and a
consensus on what to do with species seems to be far away, so maybe we
should implement the rest of the PhyloCode alone in the first issue to get
more time (and provoke more suggestions and discussions). There should be,
of course, the possibility to define genus names as clades, the way it is
sometimes already being done (*Crocodylus*).

For species, I support method M, but I think that in monotypic genera the
genus name rather than the specific epithet should become the species name,
because it is usually much more distinct.


Feedback to <> is welcome!