Trichius rosaceus

Krell, Frank-Thorsten, 2012, On nomenclature and synonymy of Trichius rosaceus, T. gallicus, and T. zonatus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae: Trichiini), Zootaxa 3278, pp. 61-68: 61-62

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Trichius rosaceus


Trichius rosaceus  ( Voet, 1766 –1778) (unavailable) and Trichius rosaceus Kraatz, 1891  (junior synonym)

In his Catalogus Systematicus Coleopterorum, Johann Eusebius Voet described Scarabaeus rosaceus  from the Netherlands in the Dutch and French editions, but from Belgium (“Habitat in Belgico.”) in the Latin edition, which, however, belonged to the Austrian Netherlands at the time. The description is on sheet B, which was issued between 1766 and 1778 ( Hagen 1857). From description and illustration, it is unclear to which of the three Central European Trichius  species the author refers. Two species of Trichius  occur in Belgium and the Netherlands: Trichius fasciatus  and the one that is currently called T. rosaceus  or T. zonatus  ( Brakman 1966, Decelle 1995).

Fuessly (1778: 19) synonymized Voet’s Scarabaeus rosaceus  with Trichius fasciatus ( Linnaeus, 1758)  . In the German translation of Voet’s work, Panzer (1802: 26) followed this interpretation, which also was adopted by Schönherr (1817: 104). However, at the time it was unknown that more than one species of Trichius  inhabits Europe making this synonymy irrelevant for the interpretation of Voet’s species concept. With no collection of Voet being mentioned by Horn et al. (1990) original material cannot be traced. Voet’s son did possess an insect collection ( Smit et al. 1986), which, however, did not contain S. rosaceus  (Voet 1769–1778: 12).

Until Kraatz’s (1891) reinstatement Voet’s name, T. rosaceus  had remained largely forgotten. It was then temporarily adopted by Reitter (1894, 1899), and used by other authors (e.g. Bivort 1903, Varendorff 1903). After Bedel (1906) synonymized “ T. rosaceus Kr., 1891  ” with " T. gallicus Heer, 1841  ", it went into oblivion again, with the exception of Everts (1922: 315) who used it in parallel with T. gallicus  and T. zonatus  . In 1960, Janssens (p. 353) reinstated Voet’s name again, explicitly stating its priority. With some delay, T. rosaceus (Voet)  became used as a valid name (e.g. Baraud, 1977), particularly in western Europe. Stebnicka (1983: 133) spoke against reinstating T. rosaceus (Voet)  as a valid name, despite having priority, because it had largely been forgotten for two centuries. However, the usage of T. rosaceus  increased further resulting in this name being currently as widely established as its synonym, T. zonatus  (see above).

Although several of Voet’s names are still in use, previous authors had already recognized that Voet did not adopt binominal nomenclature. Sherborn did not include Voet’s names in his Index Animalium ( Sherborn 1902). Everts (1922: 315) wrote: “Voet volgde nog niet de binominale nomenklatuur.” Also Wiebes (1968: 27) noted correctly when discussing the nomenclature of a goliath beetle species: “While this appears to be the first description of the species now known as Goliathus cacicus, Voet  cannot be maintained as its author, because his work does not satisfy the conditions of Art. 11 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.” In the current, 4 th edition of the Code (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature 1999), Article 11.4. requires for the availability of names that “The author must have consistently applied the Principle of Binominal Nomenclature […] in the work in which the name or nomenclatural act was published.” Since Voet used specific names consisting of one to three, occasionally five words, this requirement indeed is not fulfilled; hence the names contained in Voet (1766 –1778) are unavailable.

In his German translation of Voet’s work, Panzer (1802) added annotations and synonymy. Could Voet’s names be available from this edition? Twenty years ago, I doubted the availability of Voet’s names from Panzer’s work ( Krell & Fery 1992) and advised against using the name Trichius rosaceus  . Certainly, Panzer followed the principles of binominal nomenclature in his own works. He also followed those principles in the synonymy he added to Voet’s names: Whenever available he added a binomen from the available literature to Voet’s names, but he left Voet’s names unchanged, containing one to five words in the specific name. Therefore, Panzer’s (1802) translated edition does not fulfill the requirements of Art. 11.4 either. I was unsuccessful in tracing another work published before Germar's (1831) description of the synonymous species T. zonatus  , from which Voet's names would be available. The first author to make Trichius rosaceus  available is Kraatz (1891) who therefore is to be considered the author of this name as Bedel (1906) did correctly.