naming expeditions/taxa

Luis Diego Gomez ldgomez at HORTUS.OTS.AC.CR
Fri Jan 28 08:42:33 CST 2000

At INBio ( Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad) Costa Rica, curators are
asked to keep :in reserve" a few new taxa to be named after individuals or
institutions who in some way contribute to the national inventory.

The practice goes back a few years. I remember a moth named after the the
airline which trasported, free of charge, a large collection being
repatriated to Costa Rica from the US.

A new weevil was named after the President of the World Bank because that
institution has facilitated monies for biodiversity research both here and
in Canada.

If done professionally and carefully, the problem of synonyms could be much
reduced. However, with the progress achieved with time over diverse groups
and new technologies in aid of taxonomy, synonymy is an unavoidable
possibilit and donors or patrons should be made aware of it.

In the early years of establishment of our National parks, I offered to
name a species of fern after a generous donor to the fundraising campaing.
I did make the observation, though, that the taxon was new to the best of
my knowledge and there was no absolute way to know until we knew more about
the group to which it belonged. Later, I discovered that it was not a new
species and informed the donor who graciously waived the need for a patronym.

The option of naming expeditions is an excellent one.

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