Coryphantha Instead of Aulacothele

During the nineteenth century, while all Coryphantha sp. were still regarded as Mammillaria sp., LEMAIRE (1839) published the name Mammillaria [tax. infrag.] Aulaco-thelae, which he defined as follows: "Mam-millarias, whose tubercles carry a groove on their upper surface". He also gave a short Latin diagnosis and compared the taxon with Echinocactus [tax. infrag.] stenogoni. The taxon was first ranked as Mammillaria sub-sect. Aulacothelae by LAWRENCE (1841). It is true that by doing so, Lawrence did not mention Lemaire's name as the author of Aulaco-thelae, but the species listed clearly point to Lemaire. Among them was Mammillaria lehmannii Otto, a synonym of Mammillaria aulacothele Lemaire, the automatic type following ICBN art 22.4. Aulacothelae, spelled Aulacothele was raised to the rank of a genus by Baron DE MONVILLE in 1846.

The publication of the generic name Aula-cothele (Lemaire) Monville (1846) must be regarded as valid and, in fact, has priority over Coryphantha (Engelmann) Lemaire (1868), based on Mammillaria subgenus Coryphantha Engelmann (1856).

R. MOTTRAM (1992) proposed the conservation of Coryphantha in preference to Aula-cothele, because the generic name Aula-cothele, although valid, has never been used by any author since its publication in 1846 and was even given up by its own author, LEMAIRE (1868), in favour of Coryphantha. The revival of the generic name Aulacothele would also have led to a great number of unfamiliar recombinations.

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