Authority lists

Robin Leech releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Tue Feb 5 08:08:11 CST 2002

To one and all,

I believe it becomes a problem only when people of the same last name work
in the same group or related groups of organisms.  For example, in spiders,
there are C. Koch and C.L. Koch, and there are also O. Pickard-Cambridge and
F.O. Pickard-Cambridge.  The Kochs were related to each other, and the
Pickard-Cambridges were related to each other.  All of these men worked on
spiders, and described new species.  There is an A.W. Pickard-Cambridge, but
as near as I can figure out, he did not describe any new species.

Closer to home, my father, Hugh B. Leech, described many new water beetle
species.  I work on spiders and have described about 50 new species.  To the
best of my knowledge, no one puts Xus yus H..B. Leech or Rus qus R.E. Leech.
Our last names only are used.

If you are intimately familiar with the literature in the dictyostelid
cellular slime molds, you will know already whether or not there is another
person with your last name.  I judge from your question that there is not,
and that you are checking further afield.

In sum, if there is someone with your last name who has published, or is
publishing, on new species in your field of study, then yes, use initials.
If not, do not.

Another related issue is the use of just the first letter of your last name.
The only person, especially with the initial 'L', who is given this
privilege is Linnaeus.

Robin Leech

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Landolt" <jlandolt at SHEPHERD.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 5:12 AM
Subject: Authority lists

> Taxacom List Members:
>         I am a co-author of a paper which will include formal
> descriptions of several proposed new species.  If accepted, my name
> will be included in the authority for each species binomial.  As I
> understand it, if no other person with my last name has previously
> described a new species, just my last name can be used now.  If any
> other "Landolt" has previously been listed as any binomial's
> authority, we must now include initials of my first and second name.
> The new species in question are dictyostelid cellular slime molds and
> traditionally, papers on slime mold taxonomy are submitted to
> botanical or mycological journals.
>         Is there an easy way for me to discover if the name, Landolt,
> has previously been included in an authority reference?
>         Thanks in advance for any advice.  I suppose any replies
> should be directed to me rather than to the entire list.
> Cheers,
> John
> --
> John C. Landolt
> Department of Biology
> Shepherd College
> Shepherdstown, WV 25443 U.S.A.
> jlandolt at

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