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Species-Group Names Proposed Under Provisional Genera

Some authors proposed species-group names for fossils that were difficult to place to genus. Rather than propose a new genus-group name when in the future it might prove unnecessary to have done so, they proposed provisional genus-group names and placed these names in double quotes (" ") to indicate their provisional status. These generic names have no validity in nomenclature. However, the species-group names proposed in combination with these genus-group names are available under the provisions of the Code [Article 11(h) (iii) (1)] and are listed as available names in this catalogue. The name "Sciophilites" used by Kovalev (1990) does not have double quotes, but the intention of a provisional genus-group name by the author is clear from the text (the paper was published posthumously, which may explain the lack of quotes) and is treated in this catalogue as such.

Notes on Loew and Keilbach Names

Where Keilbach (1982) presented species-group names based on cabinet names of Loew's (1850b) collection of amber fossils, some of these names are validated by back reference to pagination in Loew (1850b) in which characters are listed to diagnose the genus-group name in which Keilbach has listed a species . However, validation of these names is only possible when Loew did not include any named species in the original proposal of the genus, gave characters to diagnose the genus, and Keilbach only names a single species (i.e., the species listed by Keilbach then becomes the type species of the particular genus by subsequent monotypy).

Loew's Genus Sciobia

Loew (1850b: 34) proposed the new genus Sciobia and stated that there were 19 species associated with it in the collections he had examined. However, only 3 of these were given names in his 1850 work: spinosa, peduncularis, and quadrangularis. Of these 3, only peduncularis was validly proposed, the other 2 were not given characters to distinguish them and are nomina nuda.

Edwards (1940: 121) discussed the systematics of the genus Sciobia and noted that the characters of Sciobia given by Loew could define virtually all of the genera of Sciophilinae, including Mycomya Rondani, 1856. Rather than cause instability by synonymizing Sciobia with Mycomya (thus requiring Sciobia to take priority), Edwards thought it more prudent to synonymize it with Palaeoempalia Meunier, 1897, a lesser known genus than Mycomya. Edwards designated spinosa as the type species of Sciobia, saying it was equal to the type species of Palaeoempalia, P. brongniarti.

Edwards' type-species designation for Sciobia and resulting concept of genera has been followed in the contemporary catalogues of fossils (Keilbach, 1982; Spahr, 1985; Carpenter, 1992). However, it is incorrect. Since spinosa is a nomen nudum, it cannot be considered as one of the originally included species. The only validly proposed species in Sciobia, peduncularis, has been placed in Mycomya (Spahr, 1985: 79), hence Sciobia must be synonymized with Mycomya. Edwards' (1940) concern that Sciobia would take priority over Mycomya is alleviated by the fact that Sciobia Loew is preoccupied by Sciobia Burmeister, 1838.

This page last revised 15 December 1996