Question about authorship of new names in zoology

Tue Mar 16 09:53:53 CST 2004

Dear Jan,

please look up ICZN (1999) - the fourth edition of the
nomenclature Code - Chapter 11 on authorship. The very first
Article, 50.1 (see also the following Recommendation 50A),
answers your question - even if the exposition is somewhat
complicated in order to accommodate various kinds of special

And sorry, Robin, but there is nothing in the Code that
requires a note "in the Introduction or Materials and
Methods". It is perfectly sufficient to restrict taxonomic
authorship to one or two of the coauthors in the heading
above the new taxon description, or elsewhere. In the
example you gave (bibliographic authorship: Jones, Smith and
Thompson), a description heading like this:
 > Genus species Jones et Smith, n. sp. <
would suffice.

All the Code requires is that it must be "clear from the
contents" of the work who the author(s) of the taxon is
(are). (Taxonomic authorship credit can even go to - or
include - a person other than any of the coauthors of the
work, see Code Article 50.1.1).

Obviously, if various different authorship combinations are
used in a single paper that establishes several different
new taxa, the risk is a bit of confusion. Experience shows
that readers often simply assume identity of bibliographic
and taxonomic authorship, or quote from memory rather than
rechecking the original publication. But such variations of
taxonomic authorship within a work are not against the Code
if the formal requirements are met.

Best regards,

Martin Spies
c/o Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen

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