Explanatory Note

This Code has been adopted by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature and has been ratified by the Executive Committee of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) acting on behalf of the Union's General Assembly. The Commission may authorize official texts in any language, and all such texts are equivalent in force and meaning (Article 87).

The Code proper comprises the Preamble, 90 Articles (grouped in 18 Chapters) and the Glossary. Each Article consists of one or more mandatory provisions, which are sometimes accompanied by Recommendations and/or illustrative Examples. In interpreting the Code the meaning of a word or expression is to be taken as that given in the Glossary (see Article 89). The provisions of the Code can be waived or modified in their application to a particular case when strict adherence would cause confusion, but this can only be done by the Commission, acting on behalf of all zoologists and using its plenary power (Articles 78 and 81), and never by an individual.

In addition to the Code itself, the present volume contains a Preface (by the present and preceding Presidents of the Commission) and an Introduction (by the Chairman of the Editorial Committee). There are three Appendices; the first two of these have the status of Recommendations, and the third is the Constitution of the Commission.

The English and French texts of the Code are published on behalf of the Commission by the International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, a not-for-profit company established in the U.K. to provide financial and secretarial support for the Commission's work.

All enquiries regarding the Code, or the application of its provisions to particular cases, should be addressed to:

The Executive Secretary, I.C.Z.N., c/o The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K. (e-mail: iczn@nhm.ac.uk)