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Rules for Zoological Nomenclature
By Hugh E. Strickland, Esq., F. G. S.

Full reference to the original text:

Strickland, Hugh E. Rules for Zoological Nomenclature. The Magazine of Natural History and Journal of Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, Geology, and Meteorology. 1837. Vol. 1. New Series. pp. 173--176.

[p. 173]

In order to exhibit more clearly my views on this subject, I have drawn up a few general rules, divested as much as possible of unnecessary verbiage; and beg to submit them to the consideration of your readers. They have little pretension to originality, but are selected from the writings of several naturalists, especially from the Birds of Mr. Swainson, many of whose aphorisms are adopted here.

1. The Latin nomenclature forms the only legitimate language of Zoology. (Swainson.)

Latin names are adopted by naturalists of all nations, and are therefore preferable to any other. Where one language is sufficient for the purpose, all others are superfluous.

2. Names which have been long adopted and established [p. 174] require a different set of rules from names which are given for the first time.

Founding new institutions, and amending old ones, are two very different things; and what is desirable in the one case, is not always so in the other. We will therefore consider,

First, Rules which relate to established Nomenclature

3. The discoverer of a species, or the founder of a higher division, has the best right to give it a name.

The person whose industry or study establishes a new group or species is commonly the best judge of a suitable appellation for it; yet, even should he fail in this point, it is only fair that, if his group be adopted, the name which he has proposed for it should be retained. Therefore,

4. The first name given to a group or species should be perpetually retained. (Westwood, Fabricius, &c.)

This law is subject to the following exceptions; and, in my opinion, to no others:--

5. A name is to be expunged which, if specific, has before been given to some species in the same genus; or, if of a higher order, has before been given to some other group. (Swainson, &c.)

6. A name may be expunged whose meaning is false, as applied to the object or group which it represents. (C. T. Wood, &c.)

Yet, in some few cases, where a name, though false, does not really mislead, it should be retained, if long established. (See Mag. Nat. Hist., Vol. I. p. 130. n. s.)

7. A name may be expunged which has never been clearly defined. (Swainson.)

Unless a group is defined by description or figures when the name is given, it cannot be recognised by others; and the signification of the name is consequently lost. On this ground, many of Dr. Leach's genera were justly expunged, as they existed only in his own MSS. Many collectors of shells and fossils are in the habit of labelling those species which they do not find described, with names of their own invention; but, unless they publish descriptions of these new species, they cannot expect these names to stand.

These are the rules which concern established names. We will consider,

Secondly, Rules to be observed in naming new Species or Groups.

A. General Rules which apply to Classes, Orders, Tribes, Families, Genera, and Species.

8. A new group must have a new name, which has never before been given to any other group in zoology or botany. [p. 175] A new species must have a name new to the genus. (Swainson.)

9. It is desirable, but not essential, that a name should have an ethymological meaning. (See Mag. Nat. Hist., Vol. VIII. p. 36.; and Vol. I. p. 129. n. s.)

10. Names should be taken either from the Latin or Greek languages. (Swainson.)

An exception may, however, be made in favour of species called by their names which are current in their native countries; such as Cotúrnix argoóndax, and Helícora dugong. Such names are of great use in identifying species.

11. The meaning of a name must imply some proposition which is true as applied to the object which it represents.

12. Names must not be borrowed from mythological, divine, historical, or moral items. (Willdenow, Swainson.)

This is a good general rule, but admits of exceptions. (See Swainson's Birds, p. 233.)

13. Names should not be too long, even though classically compounded. (Swainson.)

14. The meaning of names should be founded on absolute characters, not on relative or comparative ones.

15. The name of a species or group should be taken from those characters which are most essential and distinctive, and not from such as belong equally to other cognate groups.

B. Rules which apply to particular Cases.

16. The names of tribes, families and subfamilies, should each have a distinctive termination. (Swainson.)

In consequence of the multiplicity of scientific terms, it is always desirable to assist the memory by indirect means, when it can be done without infringing the laws of nomenclature. In the case of genera and species, however, it is impossible to give a distinctive termination; and in that of classes and orders it is unnecessary, for they are so few, that the memory does not require this assistance. (See Swainson, p. 230.)

17. In zoology genera should not be named after individuals. (Guilding, Wood.)

As this practice has prevailed in botany, it is better to avoid it in zoology, and thus afford an additional aid to the memory.

18. The names of families and subfamilies should be derived from the most typical genus in them. (Swainson.)

19. Generic names should, in general, be compounded of Greek words, and specific of Latin.

There seems no other reason for this, than that, as this practice has prevailed to a considerable extent, it serves to aid the memory.

[p. 176]

20. Species may be occasionally named after persons, provided they have been distinguished in that peculiar department of zoology. (Swainson.)

This practice is liable to abuse, yet is often allowable, especially in large genera (e. g. Ammonítes), where it is impossible to find an adjective which shall apply to each species exclusively.

21. The best specific names are short adjectives expressive of some distinctive character. They may be taken, 1st, from the form or colour, which is the best character for the purpose; 2dly, from the habits of the living animal; 3rdly, from the size; 4thly, from the country. The two last characters are the least desirable for specific names, and should only be used when the others fail, and when a distinctive epithet can thus be obtained.

22. Specific names should be always written with a small initial letter; those of the higher groups with a capital.

This is so convenient a memoria technica, that, for the sake of it, I would disregard the otherwise inelegant appearance of the names Cýgnus bewíckii, Tétrao scóticus, Símia sátyrus, &c.

Полная библиографическая ссылка на этот ресурс:

Rules for Zoological Nomenclature by Hugh E. Strickland [Правила зоологической номенклатуры, сочиненные Хью Эдвином Стриклэндом]. Факсимильное издание. Оцифровка, перевод на русский язык и предисловие А. В. Куприянова. http://tinea.narod.ru/library/methodus/strickland1837/

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