Infraspecific author citations

Joe Laferriere josephl at CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
Fri Jan 5 13:01:57 CST 1996

On Thu, 4 Jan 1996, Susan Farmer wrote:

> Date: Thu, 04 Jan 1996 20:24:46 -0500
> From: Susan Farmer <sfarmer at>
> To: josephl at CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Weirdness of ICBN
> So that I can convince the Powers That Be, can you tell me which sections
> of the ICBN are the pertinent ones?  Citing the species authority and
> the subspecific epithet authority was the way I was taught to do it.
> Since I'm only a grad student :-) I figure I'll need chapter and verse
> to prove the point.
> Thanks,
> Susan
Dear Susan,
   Sure. With Pleasure. These are taken verbatim from the Tokyo version
of the ICBN, but nothing has changed on this count in decades.

23.1 The name of a species is a binary combination consisting of the name
of the genus followed by a single specific epithet in the form of an
adjective, a noun in the genetive, or a word in apposition ...

[Note that the authority of the species name is not an integral part of
the name, as I have heard some peopel suggest.]

24.1 The name of an infraspecific taxon is a combination of the name of
the species and an infraspecific epithet connected by a term denoting its
rank. ---  Ex. 1. Saxifraga aizoon subf. surculosa Engl. & Irmsch. This
can also be cited as Saxifraga aizoon var. aizoon. subvar. brevifolia f.
multicaulis subf. surculosa Engl. & Irmsch.; in this way a full
classification of the subforma within the species is given.

Thus the infraspecific name includes the name of the species, making the
trinomial a single entity. The name of the author who coined
the name of the species is completely irrelevant. Sticking his/her name
in the middle of the trinomial is the equivalent of saying

Zea L. mays L.

Dr. Reveal is correct in saying that nothing in the ICBN prohibits this.
However, the practice is totally alien to the spirit of the ICBN and
violates the logic on which it is based.
   I hope this helps. Where are you a grad student at, anyway?

Joe Laferriere
University of Arizona

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