Nomen illegitimum

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Nomen illegitimum (Latin for illegitimate name) is a technical term, used mainly in botany. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_0

It is usually abbreviated as nom. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_1

illeg. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_2

Although the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants uses Latin terms for other kinds of name (e.g. nomen conservandum for "conserved name"), the glossary defines the English phrase "illegitimate name" rather than the Latin equivalent. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_3

However, the Latin abbreviation is widely used by botanists and mycologists. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_4

A superfluous name is often an illegitimate name. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_5

Again, although the glossary defines the English phrase, the Latin equivalent nomen superfluum, abbreviated nom. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_6

superfl. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_7

is widely used by botanists. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_8

Definition Nomen illegitimum_section_0

A nomen illegitimum is a validly published name, but one that contravenes some of the articles laid down by the International Botanical Congress. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_9

The name could be illegitimate because: Nomen illegitimum_sentence_10

Nomen illegitimum_unordered_list_0

  • (article 52) it was superfluous at its time of publication, i.e., the taxon (as represented by the type) already has a name, orNomen illegitimum_item_0_0
  • (articles 53 and 54) the name has already been applied to another plant (a homonym).Nomen illegitimum_item_0_1

For the procedure of rejecting otherwise legitimate names, see conserved name. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_11

The qualification above concerning the taxon and the type is important. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_12

A name can be superfluous but not illegitimate if it would be legitimate for a different circumscription. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_13

For example, the family name Salicaceae, based on the "type genus" Salix, was published by Charles-François Brisseau de Mirbel in 1815. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_14

So when in 1818 Lorenz Chrysanth von Vest published the name Carpinaceae (based on the genus Carpinus) for a family explicitly including the genus Salix, it was superfluous: "Salicaceae" was already the correct name for Vest's circumscription; "Carpinaceae" is superfluous for a family containing Salix. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_15

However, the name is not illegitimate, since Carpinus is a legitimate name. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_16

If Carpinus were in future placed in a family where no genus had been used as the basis for a family name earlier than Vest's name (e.g. if it were placed in a family of its own) then Carpinaceae would be its legitimate name. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_17

(See Article 52.3, Ex. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_18

18.) Nomen illegitimum_sentence_19

A similar situation can arise when species are synonymized and transferred between genera. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_20

Carl Linnaeus described what he regarded as two distinct species of grass: Andropogon fasciculatus in 1753 and Agrostis radiata in 1759. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_21

If these two are treated as the same species, the oldest specific epithet, fasciculatus, has priority. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_22

So when Swartz in 1788 combined the two as one species in the genus Chloris, the name he used, Chloris radiata, was superfluous, since the correct name already existed, namely Chloris fasciculata. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_23

Chloris radiata is an incorrect name for a species in the genus Chloris with the same type as Linnaeus's Andropogon fasciculatus. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_24

However, if they are treated as separate species, and Linnaeus's Agrostis radiata is transferred to Chloris, then Chloris radiata is its legitimate name. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_25

(See Article 52.3, Ex. Nomen illegitimum_sentence_26

15.) Nomen illegitimum_sentence_27

Examples Nomen illegitimum_section_1

Nomen illegitimum_unordered_list_1

  • "The generic name Cainito Adans. (1763) is illegitimate because it was a superfluous name for Chrysophyllum L. (1753), which Adanson cited as a synonym."Nomen illegitimum_item_1_2
  • "The name Amblyanthera Müll. Arg. (1860) is a later homonym of the validly published Amblyanthera Blume (1849) and is therefore unavailable for use, although Amblyanthera Blume is now considered to be a synonym of Osbeckia L. (1753)."Nomen illegitimum_item_1_3
  • "The name Torreya Arn. (1838) is a nomen conservandum and is therefore available for use in spite of the existence of the earlier homonym Torreya Raf. (1818)."Nomen illegitimum_item_1_4

See also Nomen illegitimum_section_2

Nomen illegitimum_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomen illegitimum.