"fide" in authorship

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Wed Jun 26 11:53:30 CDT 2002

> >I recently came across a family name (Hyolithidae)
> >with the authorship of Matthew fide Fisher, 1962.
> >What exactly does the 'fide' mean?
> Ablative singular of fides, faith, literally, "by the faith."   I take it
> to mean that whoever wrote this is taking Fischer's word that Matthew was
> the author.  In other words, he didn't check the original himself, but
> trusts that Fischer did and got it right.   The word shows up in
> non-nomenclatural contexts as well.  The OED even shows it as a rare
> transitive verb in English, meaning to confide or entrust a thing
> to someone.

My understanding of at least one use of the term in biological contexts is
with the meaning: "as reported by".  For instance, in a bird observations
database that I help manage, there are many cases where the observers would
be listed as something like "Smith fide Jones", meaning that Smith saw the
bird, but Jones was the one who reported that Smith saw the bird.  In the
context of taxon name authorship, I wonder if it wasn't meant to be used in
the same way that "ex" is often used (as in cases where the formal
publishing authors are basing their description on the data/work of another

Now that I've jumped into this, I'll take the opportunity to ask yet another
question to this list, relevant to the same database for which I asked about
the terms Basionym & Protolog[ue]:

I would like to be able to derive the formal authorship of a taxon name via
the authors of the Reference in which the name was originally described.  I
can already handle the cases of "Smith in Jones", simply by erecting a
"sub-reference" within Jones that represents those pages spanning the
protologue of the name in question, as authored by Smith.  I've also got a
pretty good handle on how to track "Smith (ex Jones)" (where Smith is author
of the Protologue reference, but Jones is secondarly linked as an "ex"
author to that particular name).

My question is, are there any formalized taxon name authorship qualifiers
besides the "in" and "ex" qualifiers, that I should be aware of?  For
example, is "fide" something different from "ex"?



Richard L. Pyle
Ichthyology, Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
"The opinions expressed are those of the sender, and not necessarily those
of Bishop Museum."

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