[Taxacom] Problem with authors of taxa

Stefano Taiti stefano.taiti at ise.cnr.it
Sun Aug 13 02:17:05 CDT 2017

Dear all,

I would like to point out a problem with the authors of new taxa when 
these are only part of  the authors of the paper in which the new 
taxa are described.

In a paper by Crandall  & De Grave on "An updated classification of 
the freshwater crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidea) of the world, with a 
complete species list" published this week in the Journal of 
Crustacean Biology (on line) (see 
) at p. 7 they write:

"Ng (1994) laid down the foundation of author citation in decapod literature,
which since has been followed in all major compilations of decapod
higher level taxonomy (De Grave et al., 2009), brachyuran crabs (Ng et al.,
2008), anomurans (Baba et al., 2008; McLaughlin et al., 2010a; 2010b), lobsters
(Chan, 2010), and shrimps (De Grave & Fransen, 2011). This follows
a strict interpretation of Article 50 (ICZN, 1999) in that merely citing an
author's name after a new species name does not make it explicit enough
that the description is solely by that/those person(s). Rather, it 
requires either
a specific statement to that effect, or as is common in older 
literature, a clear
line of evidence that parts of the article were written by, and can thus be
formally attributed to a person(s) other than the author(s) of the article.
For example, we attribute Cambarus setosus to Faxon & Garman in Garman,
1889, rather than just Faxon alone, as listed in Hobbs (1974b). This problem
is not restricted to older literature as often thought, with for example,
Ribeiro, Buckup, Gomes & Araujo (2016) describing "Parastacus fluviatilis
Ribeiro & Buckup sp. nov." and "Parastacus caeruleodactylus Ribeiro & Araujo
sp. nov." By following Ng (1994), the citation of these names becomes far
less cumbersome, for example P. fluviatilis Ribeiro, Buckup, Gomes & Araujo
(2016) rather than P. fluviatilis Ribeiro & Buckup in Ribeiro, Buckup, Gomes
& Araujo (2016). We accept that this is not how Article 50 is 
uniformly interpreted
across the zoological community and others may disagree. Because
all other compilations in the taxonomy of decapods have followed this format,
it seems logical to employ the same rule to bring the crayfish taxonomic
literature in line with the prevailing viewpoint in decapod nomenclature."

The interpretation of the Art. 50 of the ICZN by these authors seems 
to be peculiar since in the cited papers it is quite explicit (it is 
written!) that the authors of the new species are only some and not 
all the authors of the paper (see also Recommendation 50A).

Since nowadays it is quite common to see examples like those reported 
above, I am wondering which is the right way to cite the authors of 
these species. If anyone can interpret Art. 50 as they prefer, it 
will be a real mess.

Any opinion on this case will be appreciated.


Stefano Taiti

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