Comments on the proposed conservation of Buettneria Case, 1922 (Amphibia) 2 (Case 3420)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:S. G. Lucas, Rinehart, L. F. , Spielmann, J. A.
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Start Page:218
Date Published:09/2008
Type of Article:Comment
Full Text

In his comment, Hausdorf (BZN 65(1): 60–62) points out that the generic name of the African gastropod Buettneria Simroth, 1888 has priority over the generic names Buettneria Karsch, 1889 (an African insect) and Buettneria Case, 1922 (a fossil amphibian). He thus does not support our application to suppress Buettneria Karsch, 1889 in order to conserve Buettneria Case, 1922, and he concludes it would best serve the stability and universality of nomenclature to conserve Buettneria Simroth, 1888 and replace its two junior homonyms with other names.
However, Hausdorf (BZN 65(1): 60–62) fails to point out how little use there has been of the generic name Buettneria Simroth, 1888, so that like Buettneria Karsch, 1889 it is a virtual nomen oblitum. Thus, after Simroth’s (1888) introduction of the name and his subsequent replacement of the name with Buettnerella Simroth, 1910 (in the mistaken belief that Karsch’s introduction of the name Buettneria had priority over his own), we can find no published usage of the name Buettneria Simroth, 1888 that meets the criteria required by Article 23.9 of the Code until Van Gotheim (1975). This means that Buettneria Simroth, 1888 was a nomen oblitum between 1910 and 1975.
Van Gotheim (1975) then used the name Buettneria to introduce a new species of the genus. Van Gotheim (1977) pointed out that Buettneria Simroth, 1888 had priority over Buettneria Karsch, 1889. Yet, during the subsequent 30 years, the few uses of Buettneria Simroth, 1888, such as Schileyko (2002), very closely approach the conditions set in Article 23.9.1 of the Code. This means that Buettneria Simroth, 1888 continues to be a virtual nomen oblitum.
In contrast, Buettneria Case, 1922 is a widely used name in the technical and non-technical literature of palaeontology, appearing in many articles, monographs and textbooks (see BZN 64(4): 252–254). This is because the name has been frequently applied to a common Late Triassic amphibian from North America with close relatives or possible records in Europe, Africa, Madagascar and India. We have provided the Secretariat with a sample list of 75 published usages of Buettneria Case, 1922, by 45 authors in the 85 year interval 1922–2007, and many more can be compiled. The list only includes usages in the text of scientific papers and books; no usages in references cited or popular publications are listed. Buettneria Case, 1922 thus meets the conditions of Article of the Code.
Therefore, in the interests of stability of nomenclature, we believe that suppression of the obscure and little used name Buettneria Simroth, 1888 is advisable to avoid confusion. The replacement name Buettnerella Simroth, 1910 is already available for this taxon.
In addition to the proposals published in BZN 64(4): 253, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature is accordingly asked:
(1) to use its plenary power to suppress the name Buettneria Simroth, 1888 and all uses of this name for the purposes of both the Principle of Priority and the Principle of Homonymy;
(2) to place on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Generic Names in Zoology the name Buettneria Simroth, 1888, as suppressed in (1) above.

Additional References
Schileyko, A.A. 2002. Treatise on Recent terrestrial pulmonate molluscs, Part 9. Helicarionidae, Gymnarionidae, Rhysotinidae, Ariophantidae. Ruthenica Supplement, 2: 1167–1307.
Simroth, H. 1888. Uber die azorisch-portugiesische Nacktschnekenfauna und ihre Beziehungen (Vorlaufe Mittheilung). Zoologischer Anzeiger, 11: 86–90.
Simroth, H. 1910. Lissopode Nacktschnecken von Madagaskar den Comoren und Mauritius. Unter Berücksichtigung verwanderter Arten. Pp. 576–622, pls. 25–26 in Voetzkow, A. (Ed.), Reise in Ostafrika in der Jahren 1903–1905. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse, vol. 2. Schweizerbart, Stuttgart.
Van Goetheim, L. 1975. Descriptions et diagnoses préliminaires d’espèces et genres nouveaux d’Urocyclinae. Revue de Zoologie Africaine, 89: 859–870.
Van Goetheim, L. 1977. Révision systématique des Urocyclinae (Mollusca, Pulmonata, Urocyclidae). Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgique, Annals, Sciences Zoologiques, 218: i–xi, 1–355.

Taxonomic Group(s): 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith