Re: Linnaeus/Linné

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Wed Jan 4 08:56:09 CST 2006


For the BioSystematic Database of World Diptera, and flies represent 10% of the World's Biodiversity, we use LINNAEUS for all the species he named as well as for the one named by his son regardless of the publication source. (see our Nomenclator at )

We are not there yet, but when we are, we will standardize the names of authors, so the same person, regardless of what name they may have used in the original publication will have only ONE name in the database. Naturally, we will provide a database of authors of fly names so can cross-reference name variants, etc.

The basic problem remains is that many people still think incorrectly that author name is part of the ICZN scientific name. It is not (see Art. 5.1).

Yes, the practice of citing author names goes way back and originally was a form of reference / citation to the original publication, especially when the date / year was included. Hence, the desire to distinguish between Linnaeus 1758 / Linné 1767.

But today, even the ICZN makes it clear that an author is a PERSON. (Art. 50.1), not a particular string of characters. So, for databases especially and for users I believe that one should uniformly use a single spelling for a person's name, regardless of the variation that are found in the published literature (as well as various different translations from Cyrillic and other character sets, and then are nobility, the ladies who marry, etc.).

Oh, well ...

Also, I believe most entomologists use Linnaeus too.

F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., USDA
c/o Smithsonian Institution
MRC-0169 NHB
PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at e-mail  web site

>>> Richard Petit <r.e.petit at WORLDNET.ATT.NET> 01/04/06 08:29AM >>>
On another server there has been a discussion about whether to credit
authorship of a taxon to Linnaeus (if described in the 10th ed.) or to Linné
(if described in the 12th ed.).

Most malacologists now use Linnaeus regardless of date, a position I have
long adopted.  However, I would like to know how his name is handled in
other fields.

Thank you.

dick p.
Richard E. Petit
r.e.petit at

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