Ranella Garsault, 1764

Dubois, Alain & Bour, Roger, 2010, The nomenclatural status of the nomina of amphibians and reptiles created by Garsault (1764), with a parsimonious solution to an old nomenclatural problem regarding the genus Bufo (Amphibia, Anura), comments on the taxonomy of this genus, and comments on some nomina created by Laurenti (1768), Zootaxa 2447, pp. 1-52 : 28

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https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.195113

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Ranella Garsault, 1764


Ranella Garsault, 1764   and Ranetta Garsault, 1764

The upper half of plate 672 of Garsault (1764) shows a small tree-frog, sitting on a leaf of reed ( Typha   sp.). On the plate, it bears the nomen Ranetta or “Grenouille St Martin” (“Grenouille Saint-Martin ” in p. 18 of the list of plates). This new generic nomen is not associated with a specific nomen. A fact that has escaped the attention of Welter-Schultes & Klug (2009) is that this generic nomen was spelt differently, as Ranella   , in the table of the plates at the end of the same book ( Garsault 1764: 18). In the subsequent editions of Garsault (1765, 1767), both these original spellings are repeated in the plate and in the table of plates, but in the account for plate 672 (p. 414), the spelling used is Ranetta. This situation qualifies as that of multiple original spellings as described in Article 19.3 and in the Glossary (p. 116) of the Code, or more briefly symprotographs ( Dubois & Ohler 2009, Dubois 2010 a). In such a case, according to Article 32.2 of the Code, the correct original spelling among these alternative original nomina is that chosen by the First-Reviser. After this choice has been published, only the spelling chosen is nomenclaturally available, the rejected nomen becoming an incorrect original spelling, which “ has no separate availability and cannot enter into homonymy or be used as a substitute name   ” (Article 39).

In the present case, the situation is different for the two spellings, because of problems of homonymy. The nomen Ranetta has apparently never been used for any other generic nomen in zoology. Neave (1940: 11) credited “Geoffroy, 1767 ” with a nomen Ranetta, but his brief reference (“ Descr. Plant etc. p. 414 ”) points in fact to the 1767 book of Garsault. As for Ranella   , a homonymous nomen was created by Lamarck (1816: pl. 412) for a genus of molluscs that has been in permanent use since its creation and is the nucleogenus (typegenus) of the family RANELLIDAE Gray, 1854   and of its subfamily RANELLINAE   (see Bouchet & Rocroi 2005: 253). Validating Ranella   as of Garsault (1764) would uselessly threaten the molluscan nomina. For this reason, acting as First-Revisers, we hereby select Ranetta as the correct original spelling of the generic nomen created in plate 672 by Garsault (1764).

This nomen was clearly created for a small tree-frog of the genus currently known as Hyla Laurenti, 1768   (family HYLIDAE Rafinesque, 1815   ). The nucleospecies of this genus, by subsequent designation of Stejneger (1907: 75), is Hyla viridis Laurenti, 1768   , a junior doxisonym of Hyla arborea ( Linnaeus, 1758)   (see Dubois & Ohler 1997 b). Two species of this genus occur in France ( Stöck et al. 2008 a): Hyla arborea ( Linnaeus, 1758)   in northern France and Hyla meridionalis Boettger, 1874   in southern France. As Garsault was working in the northern part of France, we hereby designate Rana arborea Linnaeus, 1758   as nucleospecies (typespecies) of Ranetta Garsault, 1758, as already suggested by Welter-Schultes & Klug (2009: 235). The generic nomen Hyla   having been in wide and universal use for about two centuries (for a list of more than 25 recent references, see e.g. García-París et al. 2004: 481–588), and Garsault’s nomen having been ignored since its creation, the prevailing usage must be maintained according to Article 23.9. 1 of the Code, and Ranetta Garsault, 1764 is an invalid senior doxisonym of Hyla Laurenti, 1768   .