Available name

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In zoological nomenclature, an available name is a scientific name for a taxon of animals that has been published conforming to all the mandatory provisions of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature for the establishment of a zoological name.

For a name to be available, there are a number of general requirements it must fulfill: it must use only the Latin alphabet, be published in a timely fashion by a reputable source, etc. In some rare cases, a name which does not meet these requirements may nevertheless be available, for historical reasons.[1]

All available names must refer to a type. For species-level names, the type is a specimen (a holotype or lectotype); for generic-level names, the type is a species name; for family-level names, the type is a genus name. This hierarchical system of typification provides a concrete empirical anchor for all zoological names.

An available name is not necessarily a valid name, because an available name may be in synonymy. However, a valid name must always be an available one.

Contrast to botany[edit]

Under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, this term is not used. In botany, the corresponding term is validly published name.[2] The botanical equivalent of zoology's term "valid name" is correct name.


  1. ^ "ICZN article 79 (in Chapter 17)". Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  2. ^ McNeill, J.; Barrie, F.R.; Buck, W.R.; Demoulin, V.; Greuter, W.; Hawksworth, D.L.; Herendeen, P.S.; Knapp, S.; Marhold, K.; Prado, J.; Reine, W.F.P.h.V.; Smith, G.F.; Wiersema, J.H.; Turland, N.J. (2012). International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code) adopted by the Eighteenth International Botanical Congress Melbourne, Australia, July 2011: Glossary. Vol. Regnum Vegetabile 154. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag KG. ISBN 978-3-87429-425-6.