International Code of Zoological Nomenclature


The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted in that rules the formal of treated as s. It is also informally known as the ICZN Code, for its publisher, the (which shares the acronym "ICZN"). The rules principally regulate: * How names are correctly established in the frame of * Which name must be used in case of name conflicts * How scientific literature must cite names Zoological nomenclature is independent of other systems of nomenclature, for example . This implies that animals can have the same generic names as plants (e.g. there is a genus ' in both animals and plants). The rules and recommendations have one fundamental aim: to provide the maximum universality and continuity in the naming of all animals, except where judgment dictates otherwise. The code is meant to guide only the nomenclature of animals, while leaving zoologists freedom in classifying new . In other words, while (and thus the definition of species) are arbitrary to some degree, the rules for names are not. The code applies only to names. A new animal name published without adherence to the code may be deemed simply "unavailable" if it fails to meet certain criteria, or fall entirely out of the province of science (e.g., the "scientific name" for the ). The rules in the code determine what names are valid for any taxon in the group, group, and group. It has additional (but more limited) provisions on names in higher . The code recognizes no . Any dispute is decided first by applying the code directly, and not by reference to precedent. The code is also or , which means that previous editions of the code, or previous other rules and conventions have no force any more today, and the nomenclatural acts published earlier must be evaluated only under the present edition of the code. In cases of disputes a case can be brought to the commission who has the right to publish a final decision.


In regulating the names of animals it holds by six central principles, which were first set out (as principles) in the third edition of the code (1985):

Principle of binominal nomenclature

This is the principle that the scientific name of a species, and not of a taxon at any other rank, is a combination of two names; the use of a for the name of a subspecies and of uninominal names for taxa above the species group is in accord with this principle.ICZN Code Glossary
/ref> This means that in the system of nomenclature for animals, the name of a species is composed of a combination of a and a ; together they make a "". No other rank can have a name composed of two names. Examples: :Species ' * Subspecies have a name composed of three names, a "trinomen": , , : :Subspecies ' * Taxa at a rank above species have a name composed of one name, a "uninominal name". :Genus ', family In botanical nomenclature, the equivalent for "binominal nomenclature" is "binary nomenclature" (or sometimes "").

Principle of priority

This is the principle that the correct formal scientific name for an animal , the ', correct to use, is the oldest that applies to it. It is the most important principle—the fundamental guiding precept that preserves zoological nomenclature stability. It was first formulated in 1842 by a committee appointed by the to consider the rules of zoological nomenclature. wrote the committee's report. Example: :Nunneley 1837 established ' (Gastropoda), Wiktor 2001 classified it as a junior synonym of ' Linnaeus, 1758 from S and W Europe. ''Limax maximus'' was established first, so if Wiktor's 2001 classification is accepted, ''Limax maximus'' takes precedence over ''Limax maculatus'' and must be used for the species. There are approximately 2-3 million cases of this kind for which this principle is applied in zoology.

Principle of coordination

The ''principle of coordination'' is that within the family group, genus group and species group, a name established for a taxon at any rank in the group is simultaneously established with the same author and date for taxa based on the same name-bearing type at other ranks in the corresponding group. In other words, publishing a new zoological name automatically and simultaneously establishes all corresponding names in the relevant other ranks with the same type. In the species-group, publishing a species name (the ) ' Linnaeus, 1758 also establishes the subspecies name (the ) ''Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis'' Linnaeus, 1758. The same applies to the name of a subspecies; this establishes the corresponding species name. In the genus-group, similarly, publishing the name of a genus also establishes the corresponding name of a subgenus (or vice versa): genus ' Linnaeus, 1758 and subgenus ''Giraffa'' (''Giraffa'') Linnaeus, 1758. In the family-group, publication of the name of a family, subfamily, superfamily (or any other such rank) also establishes the names in all the other ranks in the family group (family Giraffidae, superfamily Giraffoidea, subfamily Giraffinae). Author citations for such names (for example a subgenus) are the same as for the name actually published (for example a genus). It is immaterial if there is an actual taxon to which the automatically established name applies; if ever such a taxon is recognised, there is a name available for it.

Principle of the first reviser

This is the principle that in cases of conflicts between simultaneously published divergent acts, the first subsequent author can decide which has precedence. It supplements the ', which states that the first published name takes precedence. The principle of the first reviser deals with situations that cannot be resolved by priority. These items may be two or more different names for the same taxon, two or more names with the same spelling used for different taxa, two or more different spellings of a particular name, etc. In such cases, the first subsequent author who deals with the matter and chooses and publishes the decision in the required manner is the first reviser, and is to be followed. Example: Linnaeus 1758 established ''Strix scandiaca'' and ''Strix noctua'' (Aves), for which he gave different descriptions and referred to different types, but both taxa later turned out to refer to the same species, the . The two names are subjective synonyms. Lönnberg 1931 acted as first reviser, cited both names and selected ''Strix scandiaca'' to have precedence.

Principle of homonymy

This is the principle that the name of each taxon must be unique. Consequently, a name that is a junior homonym of another name must not be used as a valid name. It means that any one animal name, in one particular spelling, may be used only once (within its group). This is usually the first-published name; any later name with the same spelling (a ) is barred from being used. The principles of and apply here. For family-group names the termination (which is rank-bound) is not taken into account. Genera are homonyms only if exactly the same — a one-letter difference is enough to distinguish them. Examples: :''Argus'' Bohadsch, 1761 (Gastropoda) (was made available for homonymy by ICZN in Opinion 429, Bohadsch 1761 was non-binominal - this had the effect that no other one of the various following names ''Argus'' can be used for a taxon) :''Argus'' Scopoli, 1763 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Polyommatinae) :''Argus'' Scopoli, 1777 (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae) :''Argus'' Poli, 1791 (Bivalvia) :''Argus'' Temminck, 1807 (Aves) :''Argus'' Lamarck, 1817 (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) :''Argus'' Walckenaer, 1836 (Araneae) :''Argus'' Gerhard, 1850 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Theclinae) :Homonyms of ''Argus'' are not: :' Walker, 1863 (Lepidoptera), ' Kelham, 1888 (Aves), ' Hebard, 1927 (Dermaptera), †' Hong, 1983 (Diptera), ' Latreille, 1795 (Araneae), ' Müller, 1785 (Crustacea). :Not homonyms of each others: ' Cutler & Cutler, 1985 (Sipunculida), ' Walker, 1859 (Diptera). :Not homonyms of each others: ' Mulsant & Verreaux, 1866 (Aves), ' Bonaparte, 1854 (Aves), †' Gervais, 1853 (Mammalia), †' Shevyreva, 1989 (Mammalia), ' Kuroda, 1931 (Bivalvia). In species, there is a difference between primary and secondary homonyms. There can also be double homonyms (same genus and species). A slight difference in spelling is tolerated if Article 58 applies. ''Primary homonyms'' are those with the same genus and same species in their original combination. The difference between a primary junior homonym and a subsequent use of a name is undefined, but it is commonly accepted that if the name referred to another species or form, and if there is in addition no evidence the author knew that the name was previously used, it is considered as a junior homonym. Examples: :Drury (1773) established ' (Coleoptera) for a species from . Fueßlin (1775) established ' for a different species from Switzerland, and did not refer to Drury's name. Fueßlin's name is a junior primary homonym. :Scopoli (1763) established ' (Coleoptera) for a species from Slovenia. Strøm (1768) established ' for another species from Norway. De Geer (1775) established ' for a 3rd species from Sweden. Müller (1776) established ' for a 4th species from Denmark. Fourcroy (1785) established ' for a 5th species from France. Olivier (1790) established ' for a 6th species from France. Marsham (1802) established ' for a 7th species from Britain. All these names had descriptions that clarified that different species were meant, and that their authors did not know that the name had been established by a previous author. ''Secondary homonyms'' can be produced if taxa with the same specific name but different original genus are later classified in the same genus (Art. 57.3, 59). A secondary synonym is only a temporary state, it is only effective in this classification. If another classification is applied, the secondary homonymy may not be produced, and the involved name can be used again (Art. 59.1). A name does not become unavailable or unusable if it was once in the course of history placed in such a genus where it produced a secondary homonymy with another name. This is one of the rare cases where a zoological species does not have a stable specific name and a unique species-author-year combination, it can have two names at the same time. Example: :Nunneley (1837) established ' (Gastropoda), Wiktor (2001) classified it as a junior synonym of ' Linnaeus, 1758 from S and W Europe. Kaleniczenko, 1851 established ' for a different species from Ukraine. Wiktor, 2001 classified both ''Limax maximus'' Linnaeus, 1758 and ''Krynickillus maculatus'' Kaleniczenko, 1851 in the genus '. This meant that ''L. maculatus'' Nunneley, 1837 and ''K. maculatus'' Kaleniczenko, 1851 were classified in the same genus, so both names were secondary homonyms in the genus , and the younger name (from 1851) could not be used for the Ukrainian species. This made it necessary to look for the next younger available name that could be used for the Ukrainian species. This was ' Boettger, 1881, a junior synonym of ''K. maculatus'' Kaleniczenko, 1851. :For Wiktor (2001) and those authors who follow Wiktor's system the name of the Ukrainian species must be ' Boettger, 1881. For the others who classify ' as a separate genus, the name of the Ukrainian species must be ' (Kaleniczenko, 1851). :So the Ukrainian species can have two names, depending from its generic classification. ', ', the same species. Article 59.3 states that in exceptional cases, junior secondary homonyms replaced before 1961 by substitute names can become invalid, "...unless the substitute name is not in use," an exception of the exception. However, the ICZN Code does not give an example for such a case. It seems that this passage in the ICZN Code is widely ignored. It also does not define what the expression "is not in use" should mean. Example: :' Studer, 1820 (Gastropoda) was once classified in the genus ', and became a junior secondary homonym of ' allot 1801. Locard (1880) established a replacement name ', which has very rarely been used. The species is now known as ' (Studer, 1820), and Art. 59.3 is commonly ignored. ''Double homonymy'' (genus and species) is no homonymy: if the genera are homonyms and belong to different animal groups, the same specific names can be used in both groups. Examples: :The name ' Linnaeus, 1758 was established for a lepidopteran subgenus. In 1764 he established a genus ''Noctua'' Linné ,1764 for birds, ignoring that he had already used this name a few years ago in Lepidoptera. ''Noctua'' Linné, 1764 (Aves) is a junior homonym of ''Noctua'' Linnaeus, 1758 (Lepidoptera). : (1764) used ''Noctua'' for a bird and established a name
Noctua caprimulgus
' Garsault, 1764 (Aves). Fabricius (1775) established a name ' Fabricius, 1775 (Lepidoptera), thus creating a double homonym. Double homonymy is no homonymy, both names are available. :The same happened with ' Jung, 1792 (Lepidoptera) and ' Quoy & Gaimard, 1830 (Aves). For ''disambiguating'' one genus-group name from its homonym, it is important to cite author and year. Citing the author alone is often not sufficient. Examples: : ' Forster, 1777 (Actinopterygii), not ' Cuvier, 1797 (Mammalia) : ' Walker, 1858 (Lepidoptera), not ''Ansa'' Walker, 1868 (Hemiptera) : ' Kobelt, 1876, not ' Kobelt, 1903 (both Gastropoda) : ' Sowerby, 1850, not ' Sowerby, 1875 (both Gastropoda) The name ''Ansa'' can only be used for a lepidopteran taxon. If that name cannot be used (for example because an older name established prior to 1858 takes precedence), this does not mean that the 1868 name can be used for a hemipteran genus. The only option to use the 1868 name for the hemipteran taxon is to get the 1858 name officially suppressed by the . In some cases, the same genus-group or species-group name was published in the same year by the same author. In these cases it is useful to cite the page where the name was established. :' Walker, 1855 (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae) (p. 1110), not ' Walker, 1855 (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) (p. 1413) :' Walker, 1865 (Lepidoptera: Thyridae) (p. 1111), not ' Walker, 1865 (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) (p. 1208). :' Fabricius, 1775 (p. 684), not ' Fabricius, 1775 (p. 686) (both Auchenorrhyncha). :' Fabricius, 1775 (p. 597), not ' Fabricius, 1775 (p. 610) (both Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). :''Clausilia (Albinaria) oertzeni'' Boettger, 1889 (p. 42), not ''Clausilia (Albinaria) schuchi'' var. ''oertzeni'' Boettger, 1889 (p. 52) (both Gastropoda: Clausiliidae). There are cases where two homonyms were established by the same author in the same year on the same page: :''Zonites verticillus'' var. ''graeca'' Kobelt, 1876 (Gastropoda) (p. 48), not ''Zonites albanicus'' var. ''graeca'' Kobelt, 1876 (p. 48). Animal, plant, and fungi nomenclature are entirely independent from each other. The most evident shortcoming of this situation (for their use in ) is that the same generic name can be used simultaneously for animals and plants. For this kind of homonym the expression "hemihomonym" is sometimes used. Far more than 1000 such names are known. Examples: : The generic name ' L. (1753) represents a genus of magnoliophytan plants (family Rosaceae), and at the same time ' Hübner, 1807 is also a lepidopteran insect genus (family Nymphalidae). : The genus ''Tandonia'' was established in animals (Gastropoda: '), in plants (Euphorbiaceae) and in Fungi (Ascomycetes). : Other examples for sometimes well known plant names with zoological equivalents are ''Aotus'' (Fabaceae and Mammalia), ''Arenaria'' (Caryophyllaeceae and Aves), ''Betula''(Betulaceae and Hymenoptera), ''Chloris'' (Cactaceae and Aves), ''Dugesia'' (Asteraceae and Plathelminthes), ''Erica'' (Ericaceae and Araneae), ''Hystrix'' (Poaceae and Mammalia), ''Iris'' (Asparagales and Orthoptera), ''Liparis'' (Orchidaceae and Actinopterygii), ''Phalaenopsis'' (Asparagales and Aves), ''Pinus'' (Pinaceae and Mollusca), ''Prunella'' (Lamiaceae and Aves), ''Ricinus'' (Fabaceae and Acari), ''Taxus'' (Taxaceae and Mammalia), ''Typha'' (Typhaceae and Porifera), ''Ulva'' (Ulvophyceae and Lepidoptera), ''Viola'' (Violaceae and Lepidoptera). For names above the family level, the principle of homonymy does not apply. Examples: : Pulmonata is usually used for a very prominent group in , but the name is also (rarely) used for a group in . : Reticulata is used as an order in , and as an undefined higher group in . Homonyms occur relatively rarely in families (only if generic names are identical or very similar and adding an ending "-idae" produces identical results). Discovering such a homonymy usually produces the same problems as if there were no rules: conflicts between entirely independent and unconnected groups of taxonomists working in different animal groups. Very often the Commission must be asked to take a decision. Examples: : ' (Foraminifera) and ' (Gastropoda) give both Buliminidae, and both families were used since the 1880s. When the homonymy was discovered 110 years later in the 1990s, the younger (gastropod) taxon had to receive a new family name, and the commission needed was asked for a solution (Opinion 2018). : ' (Rotifera) and ' (Actinopterygii) give both Clariidae, but only the actinopterygian fish name was used since 1845. Shortly after Clariidae had been proposed in Rotifera in 1990, the homonymy was discovered and the commission had to decide that the Rotiferan family had to be amended to (Opinion 2032).

Principle of typification

This is the principle that each nominal taxon in the family group, genus group, or species group has—actually or potentially—a name-bearing type fixed that provides the objective standard of reference that determines what the name applies to. This means that any named has a , which allows the objective application of that name. Any family-group name must have a type genus, any genus-group name must have a type species, and any species-group name can (not must) have one or more type specimens (holotype, lectotype, neotype, syntypes, or others), usually deposited in a museum collection. The for a ''family-group name'' is simply the genus that provided the stem to which was added the ending "-idae" (for families). Example: :The family name has as its type genus the genus ' Brisson, 1760. The for a ''genus-group name'' is more complicated and follows exactly defined provisions in articles 67–69. Type species are very important, and no general zoological database has recorded the type species for all genera. Except in fishes and some minor groups, type species are rarely reliably recorded in online animal databases. In 60% of the cases the type species can be determined in the original publication. The type species is always the original name of the taxon (and not the currently used combination). Example: :The correctly cited type species of ''Locusta'' Linnaeus, 1758 (Caelifera) is ' Linnaeus, 1758, not ' (Linnaeus, 1758). Designation and fixation have different meanings. A designation is the proposal of the type species. It is not necessary to have spelled the name of the genus or species correctly with correct authors (articles 67.2.1, 67.6, 67.7), type species are always the correctly spelled name. If the designation is valid, the type species is fixed. A designation can also be invalid and ineffective—for example—if the genus had already a previously fixed type species, or if a type species was proposed that was not originally included, or contradicted the description or figure for a genus for which no species had originally been included. There are various possible modes of type species designation. This is their order of legal importance, with approximate proportions of occurrence and examples: * Superior type fixation: ::Designation by ICZN under the plenary powers (3 %) :::Example: :::' Schrank, 1803 (Gastropoda) was established with one species included, ' Schrank, 1803. This would be the type species by monotypy. In Opinion 1896 (published in 1998) this type fixation was set aside and ' Müller, 1774 was fixed as type species under the plenary power(s) (now '). ::Designation under Art. 70.3 (misidentified type species) (1 %) :::Examples: :::' Forcart, 1940 (Gastropoda) was established with its type species ' Krynicki, 1833 proposed by original designation. But Forcart 1940 misidentified the type species and meant ' Rossmässler, 1858. It would be convenient to designate ' as type species under Art. 70.3. :::' Swainson, 1840 (Gastropoda) was established with one species included, cited by Swainson as "' Sow. Gen. f. 4". This suggested that the type species was misidentified, and that ' Say, 1821 and not ' Say, 1819 was meant. But since the incorrect type species ' has been regarded as type, it would be convenient to fix this as type under Art. 70.3. * Type fixation in the original work: ::Original designation (31 %) :::Examples: :::Montfort 1810 established the genus ' (Gastropoda) and designated ' Montfort 1810 as type species (now '). :::Vest 1867 established the subgenus ' (Gastropoda) and designated ' Pfeiffer, 1842 as type species (now '). :::Riedel 1987 established the genus ' (Gastropoda) and designated ' Riedel, 1982 as type species (now '). ::Monotypy (28 %) :::Examples: :::' Lamarck, 1799 (Bivalvia) was originally established with one included nominal species, ' Linnaeus, 1758. This is the type species fixed by monotypy (now '). :::' Vest 1866 (Bivalvia) was originally established with two included nominal species, ' Férussac, 1827 and with doubts ' Rafinesque, 1820. Doubtfully included species do not count, type species is ' fixed by monotypy (now '). ::Absolute tautonymy (2 %) :::Examples: :::Kobelt 1871 established the gastropod genus-group name ' and included 23 species. Among these was ' Studer 1820. ' is type species fixed by absolute tautonymy (now '). :::Draparnaud 1801 established the gastropod genus ' and included two species, ' Draparnaud 1801 and ' Draparnaud 1801. Among the synonyms of ', Draparnaud listed a name ' Müller 1774. Synonyms do count here, so ' is type species by absolute tautonymy (now '). :::Kobelt 1904 established the gastropod subgenus ' and included 10 species. Among these was ' Rossmässler 1838, which Kobelt cited as '. The ending -us is irrelevant here, ' is type species by absolute tautonymy (currently ' or '). :::' Lindholm, 1924 (Gastropoda: Lauriidae) was established as a new replacement name for ' Caziot & Margier, 1909 (not ' Boettger, 1877 (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae)). ' Caziot & Margier, 1909 contained originally four species, among which was ' Pfeiffer, 1857. This is the type species for ' Caziot & Margier, 1909 fixed by absolute tautonymy, and also for ' (now '). :::The following examples do not represent absolute tautonymy: ' Linnaeus, 1758 (Actinopterygii), ' (Linnaeus, 1758) (Mammalia), ' (Schreber, 1776) (Mammalia), ' (Linnaeus, 1758) (Actinopterygii), ' (Pfeiffer, 1842) (Gastropoda), ' (Philippi, 1836) (Gastropoda). ::Linnean tautonymy (0.3 %) :::Example: :::Linnaeus 1758 established ' (Mammalia) and included two species, ' and '. Among the synonyms of ' was cited the one-word name Castor with references to six pre-Linnean works (Gesner 1598, Rondelet 1554, Jonston 1650, Dodart 1676, Ray 1693 and Aldrovandi 1649). ' Linnaeus 1758 is type species fixed by Linnean tautonymy (now '). * Subsequent methods of type fixation: ::Subsequent monotypy (2 %) :::Examples: :::' Müller, 1773 (Gastropoda) was established with a short description and without species. Müller 1774 included one species ' Müller 1774. ' is type species by subsequent monotypy (now '). :::' Rafinesque, 1819 (Gastropoda) was established without species included. Beck 1837 838included one species ' Müller, 1774. ' is type species by subsequent monotypy (now '). ::Subsequent absolute tautonymy (only very few cases) :::Examples: :::''Alosa Garsault, 1764'' (Actinopterygii) was established without included species. As first author, Cuvier, 1829 included two species ' and '. Type species is ' Linnaeus 1758 by subsequent absolute tautonymy (now '). :::' Garsault, 1764 (Mammalia) was established without included species. As first author, Blainville, 1816 included three species ' Linnaeus, 1758, ', and '. Type species is ' by subsequent absolute tautonymy (now '). ::Subsequent Linnean tautonymy (only theoretical, there might be no case) ::Subsequent designation (32 %) :::Examples: :::' Fleming, 1820 (Gastropoda) was established with two species, ' Linnaeus, 1758 and ' Turton, 1807. Herrmannsen 1846 fixed ' as type by subsequent designation (now '). :::' Bourguignat 1877 (Bivalvia) was established with seven species, ' Rossmässler 1835, and six others. Westerlund 1902 validly designated ' as type species (now'). A ''species-group name'' can have a name-bearing type specimen, but this is not a requirement. In many cases species-group names have no type specimens, or they are lost. In those cases the application of the species-group name is usually based on common acceptance. If there is no common acceptance, there are provisions in the Code to fix a name-bearing type specimen that is binding for users of that name. Fixing such a name-bearing type should only be done if this is taxonomically necessary (articles 74.7.3, 75.2, 75.3). Examples: : ' Miller, 1778 is either based on a type specimen, perhaps deposited in the London or somewhere else, or its type is lost. This is now irrelevant because the usage of the name (as ') for the is unambiguously accepted. : The name-bearing type for ' Linnaeus, 1758 is deposited in Uppsala (the bones of ). This is a designated by Stearn 1959, correctly but unnecessarily because the usage of the name was unambiguous at that time, and still is.


The code divides names in the following manner: * Names above the family group * Family-group names * Genus-group names * Species-group names The names above the family group are regulated only as to the requirements for publication; there is no restriction to the number of ranks and the use of names is not restricted by priority. The names in the family, genus, and species groups are fully regulated by the provisions in the code. There is no limitation to the number of ranks allowed in the family group. The genus group has only two ranks: ' and '. The species group has only two ranks: ' and '.

Gender agreement

In the species group ''gender agreement'' applies. The name of a species, in two parts, a , say, ', and of a subspecies, in three parts, a , say ', is in the form of a phrase, and must be grammatically correct Latin. If the second part, the (or the third part, the ) is in nature, its ending must agree in gender with the name of the genus. If it is a noun, or an arbitrary combination of letters, this does not apply. * For instance, the generic name ' is masculine; in the name "," the specific name ''africanus'' is an adjective and its ending follows the gender of the generic name. * In ' the specific name ''zebra'' is a noun, it may not be "corrected" to "Equus zebrus". * In ' the subspecific name ''burchellii'' is a noun in the genitive case ("of Burchell"). If a species is moved, therefore, the spelling of an ending may need to change. If ''Gryllus migratorius'' is moved to the genus ', it becomes '. Confusion over Latin grammar has led to many incorrectly formed names appearing in print. An automated search may fail to find all the variant spellings of a given name (e.g., the spellings ''atra'' and ''ater'' may refer to the same species).


Written nomenclatural rules in zoology were compiled in various countries since the late 1830s, such as Merton's Rules and Strickland's codes going back to 1843. At the first and second (Paris 1889, Moscow 1892) zoologists saw the need to establish commonly accepted international rules for all disciplines and countries to replace conventions and unwritten rules that varied across disciplines, countries, and languages. Compiling "International Rules on Zoological Nomenclature" was first proposed in 1895 in Leiden (3rd International Congress for Zoology) and officially published in three languages in 1905 (French, English, German; only French was official). From then on, amendments and modifications were subsequently passed by various (Boston 1907, Graz 1910, Monaco 1913, Budapest 1927, Padua 1930, Paris 1948, Copenhagen 1953, and London 1958). These were only published in English, and can only be found in the reports of these congresses or other official publications. The 1905 rules became increasingly outdated. They soon sold out, and it became increasingly difficult to obtain to a complete set of the Rules with all amendments. In Copenhagen 1953 the French and English texts of the rules were declared of equivalent official force, and a declaration was approved to prepare a new compilation of the rules. In 1958, an Editorial Committee in London elaborated a completely new version of the nomenclatural rules, which were finally published as the first edition of the ''ICZN Code'' on 9 November 1961. The second edition of the code (only weakly modified) came in 1963. The last zoological congress to deal with nomenclatural problems took place in Monte Carlo 1972, since by then the official zoological organs no longer derived power from zoological congresses. The third edition of the code came out in 1985. The present edition is the 4th edition, effective since 2000. These code editions were elaborated on by editorial committees appointed by the . The ICZN Commission takes its power from a general biological congress (IUBS, ). The editorial committee for the fourth edition was composed of seven persons. Such new editions of the ICZN Code are not democratically approved by those taxonomists who are forced to follow the code's provisions, neither do taxonomists have the right to vote for the members of the commission or the editorial committee. As the commission may alter the code (by declarations and amendments) without issuing a new edition of the book, the current edition does not necessarily contain the actual provision that applies in a particular case. The Code consists of the original text of the fourth edition and Declaration 44. The code is published in an English and a French version; both versions are official and equivalent in force, meaning, and authority. This means that if something in the English code is unclear or its interpretation ambiguous, the French version is decisive, and if there is something unclear in the French code, the English version is decisive.


The rules in the code apply to all users of zoological names. However, its provisions can be interpreted, waived, or modified in their application to a particular case when strict adherence would cause confusion. Such exceptions are not made by an individual scientist, no matter how well-respected within the field, but only by the , acting on behalf of all zoologists. The commission takes such action in response to proposals submitted to it. * named the ''Felis catus'' in 1758; named the ''Felis silvestris'' in 1775. For taxonomists who consider these two kinds of cat a single species the means that the species ought to be named ''F. catus'', but in practice almost all biologists have used ''F. silvestris''. In 2003, the commission issued a ruling () that "conserved the usage of 17 specific names based on wild species, which are pre-dated, by or contemporary with those based on domestic forms", confirming ''F. silvestris'' for the wild cat. Taxonomists who consider the domesticated cat the same species as the wild cat should use ''F. silvestris''; taxonomists who consider the domesticated cat a subspecies of the wild cat should use ''F. silvestris catus''; taxonomists who consider the domesticated cat a separate species should use ''F. catus''. The latest amendments enacted by the commission concern electronic publishing, which is now permitted for works published under an or after 2011 in a way that ensures registration with as well as archival of multiple copies.

Local usage and name changes

The ICZN is used by the scientific community worldwide. Changes are governed by guidelines in the code.Scott L. Wing Causes and Consequences of Globally Warm Climates in the Early ... - 2003 No 369 - Page 288 "Following the general practice of naming species after localities by ending with "-ensis," Schnack (2000) proposed to change the name to Discorbis duwiensis. However, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (Chapter 7 Article 32) does not allow such a change" Local changes, such as the , are not recognised by ICZN.


The current (fourth edition) code is cited in scientific papers as ICZN (1999) and in reference lists as:- ICZN 1999. International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Fourth Edition. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London, UK. 306 pp.


* Strickland, H.E.
t al. T, or t, is the twentieth in the and the . Its name in English is (pronounced ), plural ''tees''. It is derived from the Semitic letters (ת, ܬ, ت) via the Greek letter (). In English, it is most commonly used to represent the , a so ...
1843. Report of a committee appointed "to consider of the rules by which the Nomenclature of Zoology may be established on a Uniform and Permanent Basis." The Strickland Code".In: ''Report of 12th Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science'', June 1842, p. 105-121
lso published in the ''Philosophical Magazine'' and the ''Annals of Natural History''.* Strickland, H.E. 1878. ''Rules for Zoological Nomenclature''. John Murray, London
Internet Archive
* Blanchard, R., Maehrenthal, F. von & Stiles, C. W. 1905. ''Règles internationales de la nomenclature zoologique adoptées par les Congrès Internationaux de Zoologie. International Rules of Zoological Nomenclature. Internationale Regeln der Zoologischen Nomenklatur''. Rudeval, Paris
Google Books
* ICZN. 1961. ''International Code of Zoological Nomenclature: adopted by the XV International Congress of Zoology''. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London, UK
* ICZN. 1964. ''International Code of Zoological Nomenclature''. Second edition. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London, UK
* ICZN. 1985. ''International Code of Zoological Nomenclature''. Third edition. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London, UK
* ICZN. 1999. ''International Code of Zoological Nomenclature''. Fourth edition. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London, UK.
BHLThe Code Online (ICZN)

See also

* * ' * ' * ' * * '



External links

ICZN website

Current text of the code

Code-1, Stoll et al. 1961

Code-2, Stoll et al. 1964

Code-3, Ride et al. 1985

Code-4, Ride et al. 2000

ZooBank: The World Register of Animal Names

Proposed amendment of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature to expand and refine methods of publication
{{Carl Linnaeus Nomenclature codes