Infraspecific author citations

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Fri Jan 5 12:38:24 CST 1996

At 01:01 PM 1/5/96 -0700, Joe Laferriere wrote:
>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

This is *your opinion*, not part of the code.

Although I am predisposed to opine differently, I have tried to give this
view fair consideration, but I do come up with one case where it is
counterproductive.  Let's say you are naming a new subsp. of Ivieia
neocalifornica Ross (which has conveniently become a plant for this
example), and you will call it subsp. arizonica.  Your publication would say

Ivieia neocalifornica subsp. arizonica Laferriere, subsp. nov.

But let's say that there is also Ivieia neocalifornica Clark, a different
plant. Regardless of which Ivieia neocalifornica is valid and which is a
later homonym, from the facts presented so far a reader in the future could
not clearly determine which Ivieia you were naming a subspecies of.  Since
in one case, your name would be invalid, this becomes important both
taxonomically and nomeclaturally.

"But," you might well say, "most reputable journals require the author
citation for every binomial that appears in the paper."  Fine.  So why can't
it be as part of the publication of the new name?  Bibliographically, the
author of the species belongs in the paper.  Is there any logic to keeping
it out of the actual protologue?

Curtis Clark
Biological Sciences Department                     Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona    FAX:   (909) 869-4396
Pomona CA 91768-4032                               jcclark at

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