Comment on the proposal to suppress Hyla crucialis Harlan, 1826 (Amphibia) Z.N.(S.) 1982

Michael J Tyler
1974 Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature  
The action of Trueb (1972) requesting the Commission to exercise its plenary powers to suppress the name crucialis, as used in the combination Hyla crucialis Harlan, 1 826, in favour of conservation of the junior synonym Hyla licheiiata (Gosse, 1851) is based on two criteria: demonstration that Hyla crucialis was a genuine nomen obliium, and that lichenata had been used extensively and exclusively in subsequent literature. Crombie (1973) has criticised the proposal on a number of grounds, and
more » ... s recommended strict application of the Law of Priority. He has further drawn attention to the fact that Tyler (1971) "used lichenata although I had informed him of the existence of the Harlan name before publication." Trueb's application and Crombie's comments have now to be considered in the context of the amendments to Articles 79 and 80 {Bull. zool. Nomencl., Vol. 29, pt. 4, Dec. 1972). Crombie has attempted to Invalidate the basis of Trueb's case by demonstrating that several of the literature references to lichenata cited by her, do not constitute "usage" in the sense now defined in Article 79 (b) i. Hence much of his own case relies upon assessing the merits of some of them, to influence interpretation under Article 79 (b) ii. Nevertheless, in discussing the inadequate state of knowledge of the species, and the limited number of references to it, he mentions 5 papers not cited by Trueb in her application. Three of them (Dunn, 1929; Panton, 1929; Lynn and Dent, 1943) , do contribute new data. It should be noted that Trueb cited papers only as an example of usage, not to provide an exhaustive and complete list as may now be necessary. Additional references to the use of the name lichenata appear in Barbour (1910 ), Noble (1927 , 1929 , 1931). Of these, Noble (1929) reports larval gut contents. The other papers by Noble draw heavily upon data published by Dunn (1926) , but the 1931 reference is highly relevant to the present assessment. In illustrating the species, and discussing its possible phylogenetic relationships to other West Indian hylid frogs under the topic of parallel evolution. Noble did more than anyone else to publicise the name. It will not be disputed by herpetologists that the 1931 text (reprinted by Dover in 1954) was the standard worldwide reference work on the Amphibia for several decades. Hence it is surprising that Crombie contends: "the name is unfamiliar to many herpetologists, even some working in the West Indies." In October 1970 Mr. Crombie advised me of his discovery of the description of Hyla crucialis, and of his certainty that it was a senior synonym of lichenata. In the same month Kirged him to undertake his responsibility as discoverer of the name to refer it to the Commission. Dr. Trueb has taken that initiative, and I record my complete support of her proposal.
doi:10.5962/bhl.part.6402 fatcat:e42o35a45ndzdowjd4vyn3pelu