Authority lists

Robin Leech releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Tue Feb 5 09:49:41 CST 2002

Hi Gail and Others,

Well, the entomologists may not be as organized as the botanists, but the
spider and arachnid people sure are, perhaps even more so, thanks to the
hurculean efforts of such people as Norman Platnick at the AMNH.

Gail suggests, "You cannot assume that someone describes only one type of
organism...".  This is an older problem.  That is, way back, some such as
ego-wrapped Embrik Strand published on everything from soup to nuts, but
authors today stick fairly close to home.  Strand, by the way, organized,
paid for, and contributed to, his own Festschrift!

As you point out in your nest-to-last sentence regarding relatives working
in a single family of flies, avoid confusion by using initials, and, if this
is not adequate, use first names.  You are not stuck if you have Thomas
Peter Jones, Jr, because 'Sr' and 'Jr" will distinguish them.  In the US, I
believe there are Thomas Peter Jones I, Thomas Peter Jones II, etc.  Here I
will say, "Do whatever you have to do!"

So, if you want to label AGABUS VANCOUVERENSIS H.B.Leech, and CALLOBIUS
HYONASUS R.E.Leech, be my guest, but, I do not think it necessary.

Robin Leech

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gail E. Kampmeier" <gkamp at UIUC.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 8:56 AM
Subject: Re: Authority lists

> As someone working with databases and bemoaning the fact that the
> entomologists are not as organized as the botanists with regards to
> authority lists, I would beg to differ with Robin.  You cannot assume that
> someone describes only one type of organism and ferreting out differences
> between one person and another when names are represented in several
> different ways (not including misspellings!) is a royal pain.  I know that
> we have several active people listed multiple times in our database
> names may appear with or without first names, with one initial or two, or
> even worse, abbreviated (with no Brummitt & Powell for us to turn to).
> to this that there may be two people with the same family name, with no
> distinguishing initials, and you have the distinct possibility that things
> may be wrongly attributed and it would take an historian to ferret out the
> truth (something we will eventually have to do).  Even initials don't
> always guarantee distinction between two people with identical initials
> family names but different first names (yes, I remember seeing an example
> of this, even working with a single family of flies).  So please eliminate
> confusion where possible.
> Thanks!
> Gail
> >To one and all,
> >
> >I believe it becomes a problem only when people of the same last name
> >in the same group or related groups of organisms.  For example, in
> >there are C. Koch and C.L. Koch, and there are also O. Pickard-Cambridge
> >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
> >spiders, and described new species.  There is an A.W. Pickard-Cambridge,
> >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
> >best of my knowledge, no one puts Xus yus H..B. Leech or Rus qus R.E.
> >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
> >person with your last name.  I judge from your question that there is
> >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
> >If not, do not.
> >
> >Another related issue is the use of just the first letter of your last
> >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
> =======
> Gail E. Kampmeier, Research Entomologist, Illinois Natural History Survey,
> Box 5 NSRC, MC-637, 1101 W. Peabody, Urbana, IL 61801 USA
> ph. 217-333-2824; fax 217-333-6784; email: gkamp at
> See therevid webMandala at
> =======

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