abbreviations for author names

Derek Sikes dsikes at UCALGARY.CA
Wed Mar 8 13:10:59 CST 2006

On Mar 8, 2006, at 12:51 PM, christian thompson wrote:

> BUT then wonders about the need for author names. These, despite  
> what some people think are NOT part of scientific names in Zoology.  
> However, some zoologists maintain their usage as a honorific.  
> Birdwatchers and others gave up on them years. No real information  
> value. And with online nomenclators to find names, no real need to  
> use them. If you want to know what an abbreviation means, why not  
> just enter the scientific name into online nomenclator and see what  
> comes up?

But what about homonyms? There are 26 in the genus Nicrophorus -  
without the Author how could one tell which was which? If synonymy  
tables in nomenclators are available and static then the 'user'  
perhaps doesn't need to bother with the author - but how many taxa  
are so well treated (outside of the birds)?

N. basalis Faldermann, 1835
N. basalis Gistel, 1848

N. bipunctatus Kraatz, 1880
N. bipunctatus Portevin, 1914

N. cadaverinus Gravenhorst, 1807
N. cadaverinus Gistel, 1857
N. cadaverinus Mareuse, 1840

N. insularis Grouvelle, 1893
N. insularis Lafer, 1989

N. interruptus Brullé, 1832
N. interruptus Gistel, 1857
N. interruptus Stephens, 1830

N. lunatus Fischer von Waldheim, 1842
N. lunatus LeConte, 1853

N. marginatus Gistel, 1857
N. marginatus Fabricius, 1801

N. maritimus Guérin-Ménéville, 1835
N. maritimus Mannerheim, 1843

N. orientalis Motschulsky, 1860
N. orientalis (Herbst,1784)

N. plagiatus (Ménétries, 1854)
N. plagiatus Motschulsky, 1870

N. pollinctor LeConte, 1854
N. pollinctor Mannerheim, 1853

N. quadricollis Hatch, 1928
N. quadricollis Gistel, 1848


Derek S. Sikes, Assistant Professor
Division of Zoology
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4

dsikes at

phone: 403-210-9819
FAX:  403-289-9311

"Remember that Truth alone is the matter you are in Search after; and  
if you have been mistaken, let no Vanity reduce you to persist in  
your mistake." Henry Baker, London, 1785

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