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Article
Published: 2022-06-08

Type species of genera in zoological nomenclature

Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité, ISYEB - UMR 7205 - CNRS, MNHN, UPMC, EPHE, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Université, 57 rue Cuvier, CP 30, 75005 Paris, France
Taxonomy ergotaxonomy nomenclature Code availability authorship date allocation ostension onomatophores types type species designation

Abstract

A basic concept of zoological nomenclature is that of onomatophore, called ‘name-bearing type’ in the Code. Onomatophores allow objective allocation of the nomina to taxa through specimens or nominal taxa. In the genus-series (i.e., for nomina of genera and subgenera), this allocation is made through nominal species, the so-called ‘type species’. The latter are involved not only in the taxonomic allocation of nomina to taxa, but also in the nomenclatural availability and validity of nomina. Failure to designate validly type species for genus-series nomina have therefore deleterious consequences, as illustrated here through several examples. Close attention given by taxonomists to the criteria allowing valid designation of type species, both in ancient works and in future ones, is therefore important. In order to improve the work of taxonomists in this respect, a few suggestions of changes in the Code are provided.

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