[Taxacom] Why stability?

JF Mate aphodiinaemate at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 20:15:21 CDT 2015

Sorry Stephen but this is incorrect. Everybody´s "experience" is a
combination of actual experience (burning the midnight oil comparing
own material against identified specimens in a museum or advice from
colleagues or mentors that we have internalised and made our own for
example) and literature. By putting your name on the I.D. label and
the year you tell others more or less at what stage of your experience
you where at when you attached the label. The "sec" is to indicate on
which authors you rely on (let´s face it, nobody is an expert in every
group). For example, in Europe if you work on scarabs you rely on
Baraud and Balthasar most of the time. In 50 years we may have
different ones but it would be helpful to know which one you owned or
used most often or a that time. As a practical example think of
Aphodius fimetarius. Since 2001 I write "sensu Wilson 2001" to make it
clear that the concept I am using acknowledges the specific
distinctiveness of pedellus.

As to citing the authority, I see it as part of the binomial. It makes
communication more accurate.


On 30 April 2015 at 01:15, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> What Mary said is, IMHO, somewhat mixed up and confused! One should cite the authors of the original combination primarily for nomenclatural (not taxonomic reasons). Botany confuses the issue by making combinations a nomenclatural matter. Zoology treats them (almost entirely) as taxonomic. The "reference used for the identification" is another matter altogether. Most IDs published in ecological studies are done by people ("experts"), who, like myself, identify taxa based more on experience/memory with relevant collections and familiarity with the local fauna, rather than by way of a specific publication. Many species can only be identified by a historical chain of IDs, hopefully involving comparision to the type at some stage along the way. They cannot be identified from the literature.
> Stephen
> --------------------------------------------
> On Thu, 30/4/15, Mary Barkworth <Mary.Barkworth at usu.edu> wrote:
>  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Why stability?
>  To: "JF Mate" <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com>, "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>  Received: Thursday, 30 April, 2015, 10:51 AM
>  IMO. It is not the lack
>  of a catchy name that has prevented the practice of citing
>  the reference used for identification in giving a scientific
>  name but the insistence by taxonomists that one should cite
>  the original author(s) of the combination and that this
>  provides accuracy of interpretation. It was not until the
>  Vienna Botanical Congress of 2005 (or thereabouts) that the
>  wording the botanical code read "In publications,
>  particularly those dealing with taxonomy and nomenclature,
>  it **may** be desirable, even when no bibliographic
>  reference to the protologue is made, to cite the author(s)
>  of the name concerned ...". Before that it read as if
>  one always had to cite the authors - and all journal and
>  book editors wanted the works they published seen to be good
>  science so they required citation of the original authors
>  and people that became faculty said it was necessary too.
>  So we have to change a culture. That is
>  always difficult.  I have been told I do not understand
>  nomenclature for  arguing that one should cite the
>  reference used to determine the name (a flora or some such).
>  The objections that I have heard are that someone is simply
>  using the name they were told by someone else or that they
>  know the plant so well they do not know whether it has ever
>  had another concept, or that they are using the concept they
>  have developed.
>  One reason I like the
>  Symbiota data entry form is that it provides for citing the
>  reference used (although perhaps it should be visible by
>  default?) but taxonomists have spent decades convincing
>  people that, to be good science, the original authors of
>  scientific names should be cited. We should not be surprised
>  if it takes a similar length of time to change the practice.
>  Do those of you that are journal editors ask for information
>  as to the reference used for an identification or for the
>  original authors of the combination.
>  Mary
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