The pernicious effect of retroactive changes in the Code: <em>Darevskia</em> and nomenclatorial stability, a reply to Busack <em>et al</em>. (2016)


  • Oscar J. Arribas Dep. Ensenyament, Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain;
  • Natalia B. Ananjeva
  • Salvador Carranza
  • Igor V. Doronin
  • David James Harris
  • Nikolai L. Orlov
  • Valentina F. Orlova



Caucasilacerta, Darevskia, Iberolacerta, ICZN, microfiche


Busack et al. (2016) concluded that the name Darevskia should be attributed to Arribas (1999) instead of Arribas (1997), rendering the latter name a junior synonym of Caucasilacerta Harris et al. (1998). In this paper, we provide a detailed answer to Busack et al. (2016) and argue that Arribas (1997) fulfilled the publication requirements of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) in place in 1997 and, therefore, Darevskia Arribas, 1997 is a valid name. In order to clarify this issue, a case has been submitted to the ICZN. To avoid unnecessary confusion in Old World Lacertid taxonomy, we recommend that until the commission rules on this case, Arribas (1997) should continue to be considered the authority of both Darevskia and Iberolacerta.

Author Biographies

Natalia B. Ananjeva

Zoological Instutute RAS

Universitetskaja nab. 1

St.Petersburg, Russia, 199034

Salvador Carranza

Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC – Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37–49

08003 Barcelona, Spain

Igor V. Doronin

Zoological Instutute RAS

Universitetskaja nab. 1,

St.Petersburg, Russia, 199034

David James Harris

Centro de Investigaçao em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO/UP)

Campus Agrario de Vairao,

4485-661 Vila do Conde, Portugal

Nikolai L. Orlov

Zoological Instutute RAS,

Universitetskaja nab. 1,

St.Petersburg, Russia, 199034

Valentina F. Orlova

Zoological Museum of M.V. Lomonosov State University,

Bolshaya Nikitskaya Str. 6,

Moscow, Russia, 125009