Fwd: Re: unique numbers for species

Geoff Read g.read at NIWA.CRI.NZ
Fri Oct 12 20:08:46 CDT 2001

> >  > Clytus marginicollis Laporte & Gory 1835
> >>  Clytus marginicollis Castelneau & Gory 1835
> >
> >>  *We* may recognize that those pairs are the same, but will a
> >>  computer?

[G Read]
> >Gosh, if it doesn't there's something wrong with it, or its programming.
> >They're on the face of it homonyms which should be obvious *even* to a
> >computer, and there will be a rule to determine what happens next. At least
> >the computer should say "beep beep ... what do I do with this one Boss?"
> >Boss then consults his notes on the accepted formulation for Gory's 1935
> >authorship.

[D. Yanega]
> They're not homonyms; that's precisely why I chose this example.

And precisely why I responded as above :-)

> The point remains, original genus + original epithet + author + year does
> NOT necessarily map on a one-to-one basis with taxon

The example above did. Your alternate author names would be best
resolved in the literature section of your database. If it's a  frequent enough
problem I'd imagine your database could be programmed to alert users to a
preferred name - Laporte - when someone entered the unfavoured
alternate of Castelneau.

I recognise the problem but your patch of mole hill  variants will only look
worrisome until you run over it with your steamroller expert system! OK, so
your database will have some unresolved likely duplicate basionyms for the
forseeable. It's an imperfect world. I expect they'll show up when they need
to be dealt to.


  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>

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