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

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Fri Sep 4 03:03:19 CDT 2009


> There is no "one" reason why authorship information is appended to a
> scientific name -- different people see it in different ways;

Seems to be so. Sometimes I wonder why author is needed. Year would be
sufficient, this is useful for the priority issue. Genus-species-year
would be almost equally (and of course not totally) unique as
genus-species-author-year. Author seems to have been added for various
reasons, initially not in the sense we use author today. In the second
half of the 1800s they used author more in the sense of what we would call
sensu today.

Author in our sense seems to have been standardized (to refer to the one
and only author of an original description) in the beginnings of the
1900s, at least in malacology. I guess author survived the past 100 years
primarily because it proved to be useful for the error control and helpful
for keeping track of species, many of which were placed in different

Sometimes it can be useful to think about the reasons why we use certain
components of such a historically developed identifier.


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