Message 2001-06-0100: Re: species names

Fri, 18 May 2001 17:19:23 -0400 (EDT)

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Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 17:19:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: "T. Mike Keesey" <>
To: -PhyloCode Mailing List- <>
Subject: Re: species names

On Fri, 18 May 2001, Kevin de Queiroz wrote:

> >>> David Marjanovic <> - 5/18/01 2:56 PM >>>
> 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.
> Jacques Gauthier has also made this point to me several times in
> conversations.  It is definitely something we should consider when
> preparing the species part of the PhyloCode.

It seems to me there are a number of problems with this, apart from the
minimal weirdness of seeing names like _triceratops_ in lower case.

Or would it be? Some people consider there to be only one species (_T.
horridus_) while other state that there is another species (_T. prorsus_).
So should it be changed to _triceratops_ or should _Triceratops_ be a
clade with _prorsus_ and _horridus_ as member species? (Many, many other
species of _Triceratops_ have been named in the past, but they are now all
regarded as _nomina dubia_ or synonyms.)

Quite often, whether a genus is monospecific or not is a matter of
opinion. It seems preferable to me to just have genera be defined as
clades. In this case, a stem-based clade with outgroups _Diceratops
hatcheri_ and _Torosaurus latus_ as external specifiers would work. Then
whether you think there is one species or two, _Triceratops horridus_ (or
/Triceratops/horridus?) will always be valid.

Of course, defining genera as clades is tricky business, too....

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