unique numbers for species

Markku Savela msa at BURP.TKV.ASDF.ORG
Thu Oct 11 21:46:44 CDT 2001


>
> This brings us to the notion of registering new names, at which time a
> unique identifier could be attached.  Of course, this concept has been so
> far rejected by the community. - Barry

Why numbers? Why not just use the "the unique identifier" which
already exists: the original published name with author and year.

For example, the unique id of the current _Danaus plexippus_ is

 "Papilio plexippus Linnaeus, 1758"

noting, that currently many other unique names synonymized with
_Danaus plexippus_:

 "Papilio archippus Fabricus, 1793"
 "Danais fumosus Hulstaert, 1886"
  etc.

If original description was subspecies or some form, then id would be
trinomial (would be probably sensible to normalize "var.", "f." "ssp."
etc. off from the id).

Someones view of a species or a subspecies would be just a list of
such "unique names" defining the included taxa. And, actually, I
thought this is exactly what is now done in the "real world". The same
can be done in databases. (Of course, internally a database can number
these identifiers and use only these numbers as internal references).

This system needs no additional registration than what already is
implicit by publication.

I have seen only one or two cases where this system would produce same
identifier (Linnaeus had same combination name used twice in same
work for different species). But, I would think this is so rare
occurrence, that they won't confuse anything.




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