Why Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold et Thomas, 1998 is a nomen nudum?

Oscar J. Arribas


Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold et Thomas, 1998 has been considered as a nomen nudum for the last 18 years. The main reason for this was the lack of a diagnosis or reference to it. Now, some authors argue that a paragraph in the same paper could be a valid diagnosis and thus Caucasilacerta might be an available valid name. In the present manuscript I demonstrate that Caucasilacerta is a nomen nudum by: a) the lack of diagnosis or reference to it accompanying (sic! mandatory in the ICZN) to the new name; b) the alleged diagnosis (fide Busack et al., 2016) is 102 lines away (two pages, including a figure and its legend) and there is not a reference to it accompanying the new name; and c) the subject of the alleged diagnosis are «the Rock-dwelling lacertids in the Caucasus» (sic.!), different from the group to which the new name supposedly refers to, the «L. saxicola group» (sic!). A relationship between both names that can only be ascertained by a specialist in the group and the concerned geographic area. As a result of that, Caucasilacerta is a nomen nudum, unavailable, and thus it is not even a Junior Synonym of Darevskia Arribas, 1997.


nomenclature; Caucasilacerta; Darevskia; nomen nudum; availability

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Arnold E. N., Arribas O., and Carranza S. (2007), «Systematics of the Palaearctic and Oriental lizard tribe Lacertini (Squamata: Lacertidae: Lacertinae), with descriptions of eight new genera», Zootaxa, 1430, 1 – 86.

Busack S. D., Salvador A., Bauer A. M., and Kaiser H. (2016), «Darevskia and Iberolacerta (Reptilia, Lacertidae): Arribas, 1997 or 1999? The correct dating of two nomenclatural acts affecting Palearctic lizards, and validation of the name Caucasilacerta Harris, Arnold & Thomas, 1998», Bionomina, 10, 61 – 73.

Harris D. J., Arnold E. N., and Thomas R. H. (1998), «Relationships of lacertid lizards (Reptilia: Lacertidae) estimated from mitochondrial DNA sequences and morphology», Proc. Roy. Soc., 265, 1939 – 1948.

ICZN (1985), International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Third Edition: adopted by the XX General Assembly of the International Union of Biological Sciences, International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature.

ICZN (1999), International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Fourth Edition, The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2016-23-4-305-306


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