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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SYSTEMATICS OF BEETLES IMPORTANT TO AGRICULTURE, LANDSCAPE PLANTS, AND BIOLOGICAL CONTROL

Location: Systematic Entomology

Title: Elucidating Article 45.6 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature: A dichotomous key for the determination of subspecific or infrasubspecific rank

Authors
item Lingafelter, Steven
item Nearns, E. -

Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 2013
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Citation: Lingafelter, S.W., Nearns, E.H. 2013. Elucidating Article 45.6 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature: A dichotomous key for the determination of subspecific or infrasubspecific rank. Zootaxa. 3709(6):597-600.

Interpretive Summary: The determination of whether a published name that appears to be a subspecies has taxonomic validity can be difficult to make, particularly given the complex language of the relevant parts of the nomenclature code (ICZN) that governs these actions. This is one of the most important decisions a systematist must make, however, when examining museum collections and literature. In work parallel to this study, over 100 “types” of longhorned woodboring beetles were discovered in the Smithsonian Institution collection that, upon further research, were shown to be invalid, according to the ICZN. The realization that the ICZN was confusing and incomplete regarding these determinations was the impetus for developing a dichotomous key and providing further examples as a tool for other systematists who are dealing with these issues. This study will be critical for all systematists who are working on catalogs, with collections, or with individual names for which the determination of their availability needs to be made.

Technical Abstract: We present an overview of the difficulties sometimes encountered when determining whether a published name following a binomen is available or infrasubspecific and unavailable, following Article 45.6 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN, 1999). We propose a dichotomous key that facilitates this determination and as a preferable method, given the convoluted and subordinate discussion, exceptions, and qualifications, laid out in ICZN (1999). Examples and citations are provided for each case one can encounter while making this assessment of availability status of names following the binomen.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014