Available name

In zoology, an available name is a scientific name for a taxon of animals that has been published conforming to all the mandatory provisions of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature for the establishment of a zoological name.

For a name to be available, there are a number of general requirements it must fulfill: it must use only the Latin alphabet, be published in a timely fashion by a reputable source, etc. In some rare cases, a name which does not meet these requirements may nevertheless be available, for historical reasons.[1]

An available name is not necessarily a valid name, because an available name may be in synonymy. However, a valid name must always be an available one.

Contrast to botany

Under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, this term is not used. It corresponds to a validly published name in botany.[2] The botanical equivalent of zoology's term "valid name" is correct name.


  1. ^ "ICZN article 79 (in Chapter 17)". Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  2. ^ McNeill, J.; Barrie, F.R.; Buck, W.R.; Demoulin, V.; Greuter, W.; Hawksworth, D.L.; Herendeen, P.S.; Knapp, S.; Marhold, K.; Prado, J.; Reine, W.F.P.h.V.; Smith, G.F.; Wiersema, J.H.; Turland, N.J. (2012). International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code) adopted by the Eighteenth International Botanical Congress Melbourne, Australia, July 2011: Glossary. Regnum Vegetabile 154. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag KG. ISBN 978-3-87429-425-6.

The superfamily Apoidea is a major group within the Hymenoptera, which includes two traditionally recognized lineages, the "sphecoid" wasps, and the bees. Molecular phylogeny demonstrates that the bees arose from within the Crabronidae, so that grouping is paraphyletic, and has led to a reclassification to produce monophyletic families.

Author citation (zoology)

In zoological nomenclature, author citation refers to listing the person (or team) who first makes a scientific name of a taxon available. This is done in a scientific publication while fulfilling the formal requirements under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, hereinafter termed "the Code". According to the Code, "the name of the author does not form part of the name of a taxon and its citation is optional, although customary and often advisable" (Article 51.1), however Recommendation 51A suggests: "The original author and date of a name should be cited at least once in each work dealing with the taxon denoted by that name. This is especially important in distinguishing between homonyms and in identifying species-group names which are not in their original combinations". For the purpose of information retrieval, the author citation and year appended to the scientific name, e.g. genus-species-author-year, genus-author-year, family-author-year, etc., is often considered a "de facto" unique identifier, although for a number of reasons discussed below, this usage may often be imperfect.

Carl Alexander Clerck

Carl Alexander Clerck (1709 – 22 July 1765) was a Swedish entomologist and arachnologist.

Clerck came from a family in the petty nobility and entered the University of Uppsala in 1726. Little is known of his studies; although a contemporary of Linnaeus, it is unknown whether he had any contact with him during his time in Uppsala. His limited means forced him to leave university early and enter into government service, later ending up working in the administration of the City of Stockholm.

His interest in natural history appears to have come at a more mature age, influenced by a lecture of Linnaeus he attended in Stockholm in 1739. In the following years he collected and categorized a large number of spiders, published together with more general observations on the morphology and behaviour of spiders, in his Svenska Spindlar ("Swedish spiders", 1757, also known by its Latin subtitle, Aranei Suecici). He also started the publication of Icones insectorum rariorum, a series of detailed but uncommented plates illustrating numerous species of butterflies, left unfinished after the third fascicle (1766) because of Clerck's death.

Because of the exceptionally thorough treatment of the spider species, the scientific names proposed by Clerck in Svenska Spindlar (which were adopted by Carl Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae in 1758 with only minor modifications) had traditionally been recognized by arachnologists as binomial and available, later this was officially recognized in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. This means that in case of doubt the spelling of a spider name as from Clerck's 1757 work has priority over that proposed by Linnaeus in 1758 (an example is Araneus instead of Aranea), and that Clerck's spiders were the first animals in modern zoology to have obtained an available scientific name in the Linnean system. The name of the first species to have obtained an available name in the binomial system was Araneus angulatus.

He eventually became a friend and correspondent of Linnaeus, who appreciated his work greatly, and through his sponsorship was elected a member of the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala in 1756 and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1764.

Clerck's collection is in the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

Common tube-nosed fruit bat

The common tube-nosed fruit bat (Nyctimene albiventer) is a species of megabat in the family Pteropodidae. It is found at islands north of Australia, and in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines and the Solomon Islands.


"Ekbletomys hypenemus" is an extinct oryzomyine rodent from the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Lesser Antilles. It was described as the only species of the subgenus "Ekbletomys" of genus Oryzomys in a 1962 Ph.D. thesis, but that name is not available under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and the species remains formally unnamed. It is currently referred to as "Ekbletomys hypenemus" in the absence of a formally available name. The species is now thought to be extinct, but association with introduced Rattus indicates that it survived until before 1500 BCE on Antigua.

It is known from abundant skeletal elements, which document it as the largest known oryzomyine, on par with Megalomys desmarestii, another Antillean endemic. Its morphological features indicate that it is distinct from Megalomys, which includes various other Antillean oryzomyines, and derives from a separate colonization of the Lesser Antilles by oryzomyines. In the original description, it was placed close to a species now placed in Nephelomys, but its relationships have not been studied since.


Eromangasaurus is an extinct genus of elasmosaurid known from northern Queensland of Australia.


A genus (, pl. genera ) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

E.g. Panthera leo (lion) and Panthera onca (jaguar) are two species within the genus Panthera. Panthera is a genus within the family Felidae.The composition of a genus is determined by a taxonomist. The standards for genus classification are not strictly codified, so different authorities often produce different classifications for genera. There are some general practices used, however, including the idea that a newly defined genus should fulfill these three criteria to be descriptively useful:

monophyly – all descendants of an ancestral taxon are grouped together (i.e. phylogenetic analysis should clearly demonstrate both monophyly and validity as a separate lineage).

reasonable compactness – a genus should not be expanded needlessly; and

distinctness – with respect to evolutionarily relevant criteria, i.e. ecology, morphology, or biogeography; DNA sequences are a consequence rather than a condition of diverging evolutionary lineages except in cases where they directly inhibit gene flow (e.g. postzygotic barriers).Moreover, genera should be composed of phylogenetic units of the same kind as other (analogous) genera.

International Code of Zoological Nomenclature

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted convention in zoology that rules the formal scientific naming of organisms treated as animals. It is also informally known as the ICZN Code, for its publisher, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (which shares the acronym "ICZN"). The rules principally regulate:

How names are correctly established in the frame of binominal nomenclature

Which name must be used in case of name conflicts

How scientific literature must cite namesZoological nomenclature is independent of other systems of nomenclature, for example botanical nomenclature. This implies that animals can have the same generic names as plants.

The rules and recommendations have one fundamental aim: to provide the maximum universality and continuity in the naming of all animals, except where taxonomic judgment dictates otherwise. The code is meant to guide only the nomenclature of animals, while leaving zoologists freedom in classifying new taxa.

In other words, whether a species itself is or is not a recognized entity is a subjective decision, but what name should be applied to it is not. The code applies only to the latter. A new animal name published without adherence to the code may be deemed simply "unavailable" if it fails to meet certain criteria, or fall entirely out of the province of science (e.g., the "scientific name" for the Loch Ness Monster).

The rules in the code determine what names are valid for any taxon in the family group, genus group, and species group. It has additional (but more limited) provisions on names in higher ranks. The code recognizes no case law. Any dispute is decided first by applying the code directly, and not by reference to precedent.

The code is also retroactive or retrospective, which means that previous editions of the code, or previous other rules and conventions have no force any more today, and the nomenclatural acts published 'back in the old times' must be evaluated only under the present edition of the code. In cases of disputes concerning the interpretation, the usual procedure is to consult the French Code, lastly a case can be brought to the commission who has the right to publish a final decision.

Large slit-faced bat

The large slit-faced bat, Nycteris grandis, is a species of slit-faced bat with a broad distribution in forest and savanna habitats in West, Central, and East Africa. N. marica (Kershaw, 1923), is the available name for the southern savanna species if it is recognized as distinct from this species.

Nomen novum

In biological nomenclature, a nomen novum (Latin for "new name"), new replacement name (or replacement name, new substitute name, substitute name) is a technical term. It indicates a scientific name that is created specifically to replace another scientific name, but only when this other name cannot be used for technical, nomenclatural reasons (for example because it is a homonym: it is spelled the same as an existing, older name); it does not apply when a name is changed for taxonomic reasons (representing a change in scientific insight). It is frequently abbreviated, e.g. nomen nov., nom. nov..

Nomen oblitum

A nomen oblitum (Plural: nomina oblita; Latin for "forgotten name") is a technical term, used in zoological nomenclature, for a particular kind of disused scientific name.

In its present meaning, the nomen oblitum came into being with the fourth, 1999, edition of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. After 1 January 2000, a scientific name may be formally declared to be a nomen oblitum when it has been shown not to have been used as a valid name within the scientific community since 1899, and when it is either a senior synonym (there is also a more recent name which applies to the same taxon, and which is in common use) or a homonym (it is spelled the same as another name, which is in common use), and when the preferred junior synonym or homonym has been shown to be in wide use in 50 or more publications in the past few decades. Once a name has formally been declared to be a nomen oblitum, the disused name is to be 'forgotten'. By the same act, the next available name must be declared to be a nomen protectum; from then on, it takes precedence.An example is the case of the scientific name for the leopard shark. Despite the name Mustelus felis being the senior synonym, an error in recording the dates of publication resulted in the widespread use of Triakis semifasciata as the leopard shark's scientific name. After this long-standing error was discovered, T. semifasciata was made the valid name (as a nomen protectum) and Mustelis felis was declared invalid (as a nomen oblitum).


Polystira is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Turridae, the turrids.Paul Bartsch (1934) states the genus Polystira was created by W. P. Woodring in 1928 for certain large West Indian turrids. He named the largest of the recent species, generally known as Pleurotoma albida Perry, as type. Unfortunately, the mollusk so designated is not Pleurotoma albida Perry, which Perry states " is frequently found at New Zealand and Lord Howe Island." Perry's figure 4, plate 32, of this species does not agree with the West Indian material. It clearly resembles certain shells from North Australia in the collection of the National Museum. The name is, therefore, not applicable to the West Indian shell, which will have to carry the next available designation. Lamarck in 1816, in his " Tableau Encyclopedique et Methodique ", figured on plate 439, as figure 2, the West Indian shell without naming it. Wood, in 1818, in his " Index Testaceologicus ", on page 125, names this species Murex virgo, referring to Lamarck's figure cited above. This appears to be the oldest available name for the type species. The type of Polystira Woodring must therefore be Murex virgo Wood = Polystira albida Woodring, not Perry.


Pupinidae is a taxonomic family of land snails with an operculum, terrestrial gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Cyclophoroidea (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005).


In biology, a species ( (listen)) is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined.

All species (except viruses) are given a two-part name, a "binomial". The first part of a binomial is the genus to which the species belongs. The second part is called the specific name or the specific epithet (in botanical nomenclature, also sometimes in zoological nomenclature). For example, Boa constrictor is one of four species of the genus Boa.

While the definitions given above may seem adequate, when looked at more closely they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, and in a ring species. Also, among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, and each clone is potentially a microspecies. Though none of these are entirely satisfactory definitions, scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If species were fixed and clearly distinct from one another, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, and to grade into one another.

Species were seen from the time of Aristotle until the 18th century as fixed categories that could be arranged in a hierarchy, the great chain of being. In the 19th century, biologists grasped that species could evolve given sufficient time. Charles Darwin's 1859 book The Origin of Species explained how species could arise by natural selection. That understanding was greatly extended in the 20th century through genetics and population ecology. Genetic variability arises from mutations and recombination, while organisms themselves are mobile, leading to geographical isolation and genetic drift with varying selection pressures. Genes can sometimes be exchanged between species by horizontal gene transfer; new species can arise rapidly through hybridisation and polyploidy; and species may become extinct for a variety of reasons. Viruses are a special case, driven by a balance of mutation and selection, and can be treated as quasispecies.

Synonym (taxonomy)

In scientific nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that applies to a taxon that (now) goes by a different scientific name, although the term is used somewhat differently in the zoological code of nomenclature. For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name (under the currently used system of scientific nomenclature) to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies. This name is no longer in use: it is now a synonym of the current scientific name, Picea abies.

Unlike synonyms in other contexts, in taxonomy a synonym is not interchangeable with the name of which it is a synonym. In taxonomy, synonyms are not equals, but have a different status. For any taxon with a particular circumscription, position, and rank, only one scientific name is considered to be the correct one at any given time (this correct name is to be determined by applying the relevant code of nomenclature). A synonym cannot exist in isolation: it is always an alternative to a different scientific name. Given that the correct name of a taxon depends on the taxonomic viewpoint used (resulting in a particular circumscription, position and rank) a name that is one taxonomist's synonym may be another taxonomist's correct name (and vice versa).

Synonyms may arise whenever the same taxon is described and named more than once, independently. They may also arise when existing taxa are changed, as when two taxa are joined to become one, a species is moved to a different genus, a variety is moved to a different species, etc. Synonyms also come about when the codes of nomenclature change, so that older names are no longer acceptable; for example, Erica herbacea L. has been rejected in favour of Erica carnea L. and is thus its synonym.


Turbinoidea was a superfamily of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Vetigastropoda (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005). But it has become an available name, because it is no longer used in the current taxonomy of gastropods sensu Williams et al. (2008).

Valid name (zoology)

In zoological nomenclature, the valid name of a taxon is the zoological name that is to be used for that taxon following the rules in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). In other words: a valid name is the correct zoological name of a taxon.In contrast, an invalid name is a name that violates the rules of the ICZN. An invalid name is not considered to be a correct scientific name for a taxon. Invalid names may be divided into:

Subjectively invalid names - Names that have been rendered invalid by individual scientific judgement or opinion. Taxonomists may differ in their opinion and names considered invalid by one researcher, can be accepted as valid by another; thus they are still potentially valid names. It includes:Junior subjective synonyms - synonyms described from different types previously described as separate taxa.

Junior secondary homonyms - species synonyms arising from merging two taxonomic groups previously considered separate. In this case, the taxa are separate species, but by chance, had the same specific name resulting in homonymy when their generic names are synonymized.

Conditionally suppressed names - are special cases where a name which would otherwise have been valid has been petitioned for suppression by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. This is usually because the junior synonym (the later name) has wider common usage than the senior synonym (the older name).Objectively invalid names - Names that have been rendered invalid for factual reasons. These names are universally accepted as invalid and not merely a matter of individual opinion as is the case with subjectively invalid names. It includes:Junior objective synonyms - names describing a taxon (the junior synonym) that have already been described by another name earlier (the senior synonym). ICZN follows the Principle of Priority, in which the oldest available name is applied in preference to newer names where possible.

Junior homonyms in the family and genus group - names of families and genera which have the same spelling but refer to different taxa.

Junior primary homonyms in a species group - species synonyms resulting from two different organisms being originally described with the same name spelled in the same way. Compare with the previously discussed junior secondary homonyms.

Completely suppressed names - are special cases where a name is completely suppressed by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. It is treated as if it had never been published and is never to be used, regardless of actual availability.

Partially suppressed names - are special cases where a name is partially suppressed by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. Unlike completely suppressed names, partially suppressed names are still acknowledged as having been published but is used only for the purpose of homonymy, not priority.

Validly published name

In botanical nomenclature, a validly published name is a name that meets the requirements in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants for valid publication. Valid publication of a name represents the minimum requirements for a botanical name to exist: terms that appear to be names but have not been validly published are referred to in the ICN as "designations".A validly published name may not satisfy all the requirements to be legitimate. It is also not necessarily the correct name for a particular taxon and rank.Nevertheless, invalid names (nomen invalidum, nom. inval.) are sometimes in use. This may occur when a taxonomist finds and recognises a taxon and thinks of a name, but delays publishing it in an adequate manner. A common reason for this is that a taxonomist intends to write a magnum opus that provides an overview of the group, rather than a series of small papers. Another reason is that the code of nomenclature changes with time, and most changes have retroactive effect, which has resulted in some names that the author thought were validly published, becoming invalid.

White-tailed dunnart

The white-tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis granulipes), also known as the ash-grey dunnart, is a dunnart native to Australia.

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