[Taxacom] FW: formation of zoological names with Mc, Mac, et

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Wed Sep 2 05:44:47 CDT 2009

Author and year are not only good to disambiguate homonyms, they are 
also helpful for error control purposes, and help understanding that 
two identical specific names placed in different genera could belong 
to the same taxon.

> 51.1. Optional use of names of authors. The name of the author does
> not form part of the name of a taxon and its citation is optional,
> although customary and often advisable.

I think this is an unnecessary article in the ICZN Code. In practical 
life we see that names are sometimes combined with authors and 
sometimes not. It does not make much sense to fix this in the Code. 
It rather looks silly. 
It would make sense if the Code would help us explaining how to spell 
the author, and give a guide on the use of initials. This would be 
much more helpful. Art. 51.1 can either be removed, or specified.

> Recommendation 51A. 

> If the surname and forenames(s) of an
> author are liable to be confused, these should be distinguished as 
> in scientific bibliographies."
This and the fact that in all (but one) examples in the Code's text 
no initials are used, seems to point to an unwritten recommendation 
not to use initials in the names of taxa, and supports strongly 
Stephen's proposal, to restrict the initials to the bibliographical 

Examplus primus Smith, 1970
Original publication: J. Smith, 1970a

A Recommendation in the Code has no binding effect, would be more 
useful to transfer such contents to the rank of an Article.


University of Goettingen, Germany

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