Glossary of Terms Used in the Catalog of Fishes

additional material. Specimens that are not part of the type series.

allotype. A term designating a specimen of opposite sex to the holotype.

Art. An Article of the Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

available. Admitted into zoological nomenclature--such as an available name or work; a name that can be used.

binominal nomenclature. Reference to a species by use of a combination of two names--a generic name plus a specific name. Used here mostly in the negative, nonbinominal and therefore not available, as for example, a name appearing in a work in which the author did not use binominal nomenclature.

binomen. Combination of a generic and specific name of a species.

Catalog. Short version to refer to the present Catalog of Fishes.

Code. The 1985 edition of The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. See Appendix A.

conserved. Through action of ICZN, use of a name is preserved as the valid name (when it would not otherwise be valid); or a work is declared to be published (when it would not otherwise be available).

corrigendum (pl. corrigenda). Note published by author, editor, or publisher expressly to cite and correct one or more errors in the work.

cotype. A term not now to be used that formerly was used for either a syntype or paratype.

c&s. Cleared and stained.

description, original. The description of a nominal taxon when first established.

designation. Act of making a type fixation, e.g., type designated by Bleeker 1864. We also sometimes say "selected" or "established."

original. Designation of a type of a nominal taxon when the taxon was established.

subsequent. Designation of a type subsequent to the date at which the taxon was established.

emendation. An intentional change in the spelling of a name.

justified. The correction of an incorrect original spelling.

unjustified. An emendation that is not justified.

fixed. See designation.

first reviser. The first person after the taxon was proposed to select one of the names over the other (or one nomenclatural act over another) when both names (or acts) were published at the same time. Also applies to first selection of multiple original spellings.

form (forma). A category below the species level; interpretation varies on the basis of date of use (see Appendix A).

holotype. The single specimen on which the taxon was based or the single specimen designated as the name-bearing (or primary) specimen.

homonym. Each of two or more names that are identical in the meaning of the Code but apply to different taxa.

junior. The younger, or most recently established name.

primary. Identical species names first published in the same genus.

secondary. Species names that are, or become the same when placed in the same genus subsequent to first publication of at last one of them.

senior. The older, or earliest established name.

homonymy. The condition of having homonyms.

ichnotaxon. A taxon based on the fossilized work of an animal, including fossilized trails, burrows, and tubes made by an animal.

ICZN. International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature; the judicial body empowered to enforce and interpret the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

incertae sedis. Of uncertain taxonomic placement.

Index, Official. See Official Index.

indication. As used in the Catalog, a method of fixing the type species of a genus, e.g., type by indication.

infrasubspecific. A category below the subspecies level.

invalid. A name or nomenclatural act that is not valid under the Code.

lectotype. A syntype later designated as the one name-bearing type specimen.

Linnaean tautonymy. See tautonymy, Linnaean

monotypy (monotypic). For genera, the generic group name when proposed was considered by the original author to contain a single valid species that was cited by an available name.

name, replacement. A new name expressly proposed for an already established one.

natio. A category below the subspecies level.

neotype. The specimen designated as the name-bearing type of a nominal species or subspecies for which no holotype, or lectotype, or syntype, or prior neotype is believed to exist.

nomen dubium (pl. nomina dubia). Name(s) of unknown or doubtful application.

nomen oblitum. A forgotten name.

Official Index. One of four lists of names or works that have been rejected for use in rulings by the ICZN; Official Index of Generic Names, Specific Names, Family-Group Names, and Works. See Appendix B.

Official List. One of four lists of names or works that have been approved (validated) by the ICZN; Official List of Generic Names, Specific Names, Family-Group Names, and Works. See Appendix B.

opinon. A formal publication of an interpretation, ruling, or suspension of a provision of the Code. See also Appendix B.

original description. See description, original

original designation. See designation, original

paralectotype. The type specimens remaining after a lectotype is designated.

paratype. Specimens of the type series other than the holotype.

plenary power. Power of the International Commission to suspend articles of the Code to settle particular cases.

preoccupied. At the generic level, a name predated by use of the same generic or subgeneric name for another taxon at an earlier date. At the species level, a binomen for another species or subspecies used for another taxon at an earlier date.

preprint. Work published separately, with its own date of publication in advance of the main work.

priority. Seniority fixed by the date of publication; the earliest published has priority.

replacement name. See name, replacement

separate. A copy of a work independent of the periodical or book that contains it. Same as offprints, reprints, preprints, etc.

subsequent designation. See designation, subsequent

suppressed. A name or work on which the Commission has ruled that the name or work is never to be used (totally suppressed) or only conditionally used (conditionally suppressed).

synonym. Each of two or more scientific names of the same rank used to denote the same taxon. Typically, two names for the same taxon--only one can be used; they are said to be synonyms.

junior. The younger name of two synonyms.

objective. Each of two or more synonyms that are based on the same name-bearing type. For genera, two or more different names based on the same type species.

subjective. Each of two or more synonyms that are based on different name-bearing types. For genera, two or more different names based on different type species which a specialist deems to represent the same taxon.

Synonymy. The relationship between synonymous names, or a list of synonymous names. "Synonym of..." refers to the fact that a taxon is synonymous with another name.

syntype. Each specimen of a type series (of equal rank) when no holotype or lectotype has been named.

systematics. The classification and study of organisms with regard to their natural relationships.

tautonymy. The use of the same word for the name of a genus-group taxon and for one of its included species or subspecies.

absolute. The identical spelling of a generic-group name and one of its included specific-group names. Such as Brama brama.

Linnaean. Identical spelling of a new genus-group name and a pre-Linnaean (i.e., before 1758) one-word name cited as a synonym of only one of the species or subspecies originally included in that genus (see Art. 68e(i) in Appendix A).

taxon (pl. taxa). A taxonomic unit, such as a species, genus, subgenus, family.

taxonomy. The study and practice of naming and classifying organisms, as done by taxonomists.

type. A term used alone or as part of a compound term used for a kind of specimen or taxon.

type series. The original name-bearing specimens used to define a species-group taxon.

type species. The (nominal) species that is the name-bearing type of a genus or subgenus.

unavailable. Not available for use in zoological nomenclature. See Appendix A.

variety (var.). A category below the species level; interpretation varies on the basis of date of use (see Appendix A).

vernacular name. A name proposed in a language used for general purposes as opposed to a name proposed only for zoological nomenclature. In the Catalog one finds the expression, "Not available, appeared as a French vernacular."

work. Written zoological information, such as a manuscript or publication.

available. A work that can be used in zoological nomenclature.

rejected. An unavailable work that has been rejected by the ICZN and placed on the Official Index (see Appendix B).

Catalog of Fishes

Catalog of FishesThe Catalog of Fishes is the authoritative reference for taxonomic fish names, featuring a searchable on-line database.

Browse the Classification

Classification of fishes used in the Catalog

Family Group Names of Fishes

A working list of family-group names of recent fishes.

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