Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 13:26:37 -0500
Reply-To: Conchologists List <CONCH-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Sender: Conchologists List <CONCH-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Richard Petit <r.e.petit@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Subject: Re: About Bursa rugosa
I assume your information came from Cossignani 1994 who states that these two nomina are synonyms and that B. rugosa has priority. Mr. Cossignani does not give the original citation for Sowerby's description nor does he indicate the genus in which it was originally described (Ranella).
Sowerby's species was evidently valid from its appearance in the Conchological Illustrations in 1835, but it is listed by Sherborn as from the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London in 1841. Either way it is earlier than Dall's name if the two are the same.
However, among other things that Mr. Cossignani did not do is consult the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. The edition of the Code in force when Mr. Cossignani wrote his book states, under the Principle of Priority, that "The Principle of Priority is to be used to promote stability and is not intended to be used to upset a long-accepted name in its accustomed meaning through the introduction of an unused name that is its senior synonym." Also, that if stability is threatened that existing usage is to be maintained and the case referred to the Commission. The current Code also stresses stability.
Mr. Cossignani did nothing to valid his claim to the priority of Sowerby's name by illustrating, or even referencing, type material.
It appears that Dall's name was, and is, in long-standing usage. The only reference to Sowerby's name prior to its usage by Cossignani that I found is Spry's usage of the name for an East African species. However, I did not make an exhaustive search.
Hope this bit of information is of use.