Author citation (zoology)

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The author ( pl. authors ) ( IRZN abbreviated, called [Note 1] in English mostly "Code" ) for the purposes of the International Regulations for Zoological Nomenclature, the person who is in a scientific work, a scientific name or nomenclatural act is zoology is attributed. Author of a scientific name or nomenclatural act in the sense of IRZN can also be a person who is author of the scientific work is not, in the scientific name and nomenclatural act were published. In most cases, the author of a scientific work, in which a new scientific name is written or a nomenclatural act was done, clear and easy to determine. Therefore, the requirements and recommendations of the International Regulations for Zoological Nomenclature regulate primarily the significantly less frequent cases in which the author is not an ad hoc basis can be determined with certainty.

Rank / hierarchy

Three groups of names are in the ICZN Code treats (hierarchical levels or groups):

  • Family group (family- group names ) containing the superfamily, family, subfamily, tribe and subtribes,
  • Generic group (genus -group names), with genus and subgenus,
  • Group of species ( species -group names), with type and subtype.

Within each of these groups there are for each name only one authorship. For example, are the authorship of the admiral butterfly follows:

  • Family: Nymphalidae Swainson, 1827, accordingly Subfamily: Nymphalinae Swainson, 1827
  • Tribus Nymphalini Swainson, 1827
  • Subgenus Vanessa (Vanessa ) Fabricius, 1807


The parentheses in the species name Vanessa atalanta (Linnaeus, 1758 ) indicate that the Admiral was originally described in a different genus Papilio atalanta Linnaeus, 1758.

Square brackets around the author to show that the author's name is not apparent even from the original source, but is generally known, or from secondary sources. Examples:

  • Chlamys [ Röding ], 1798
  • Uncia uncia ( [ Schreber ], 1775)

The ICZN Code stipulates that in such cases the authorship should be considered anonymous. However, this is not handled in practice, the square brackets around the author's name known from secondary sources are apparently set by most professionals in all disciplines ( "Anonymous" is only usually written when the author is completely unknown ).

Around the year (actual year of publication ) no brackets are set, thus also not if the year is not or not properly listed in the original publication.

Abbreviations of author names

In zoology, the last names of the authors are not abbreviated taxonomic names as in botany, but in full.

Number of authors of a name

Co- authorship with animal names are allowed and occur frequently. A limitation of numbers up there is not. However, it is allowed to call for more than three co-authors, only the first author, followed by the terminal, et al. ( = "And others" ) when the full number is quoted elsewhere in the work.

Identity of the author

The identity of the author has long been controversial and was considered of little significance. In the first attempt at establishing international rules of nomenclature for zoology in 1895 determined that the author should be the person who has a name first published scientific. Before the person had been cited in the taxonomic names in many sub- areas that had been awarded the name, whether published or unpublished. The new rule had the effect that in some fields, such as in the Malacology, most species had to get another author, as their name persons had been attributed previously who had never published a scientific paper.

However, the scheme was not accurate enough formulated, so that the practice still slightly different depending on the animal group. These problems led in 1974 a member of the ICZN Commission to clarify how Article 50 of the second code output (which since 1961 was ) is to be interpreted ( Sabrosky 1974). Article 50 said, the author is "the person who has a name first published in such a way that the criteria of availability have been met ." In the interpretation of 1974 it was made clear that this is meant that it was based on these criteria primarily to the description or diagnosis.

Today, this view is supported by most ( not all ) accepted taxonomists ( the control in the code was still not significantly reworded ). As an author, only the person is recognized, which was responsible for the formulation of the textual content of the original description, which had therefore written to the corresponding text that brought the publisher at the end of the publication. An image author is not generally considered as a co- author of a taxonomic name, even if this was not the only foundation that made ​​the name available.

The author is usually the author of the work. In some cases, however, new zoological names were not made ​​by the author of the work available. The true author may therefore be different. Nevertheless, this is not indicated in all cases, be an author in animal names.

( But be the author of the work must be taken ) When the true author is not explicitly mentioned in the original publication, this is not the author of the taxonomic name. Often texts were actually written by other people. Some authors copied text passages from unpublished sources, without naming them. All such persons are excluded in Article 50.1.1 of the authorship of the name when they were not explicit in the work itself cited as responsible for the description.

Most taxonomists also accept article 50.1.1, according to which the author of a previously published source from which the text have been copied, is not considered as an author of a name. However, this does not seem to know all the professionals. So ( for example, in fish nomenclature), it was in some animal groups some time usual, the "true" author of the textual description to quote in addition (for example, Raja manatia Bloch & Schneider (ex Lacepede ), 1801 Bloch & Schneider had a previously published description of Lacépède copied and marked with the name Raja manatia ). This does not reflect the practice in most other animal groups.

However, there are cases in which the true author of the description is not the author of the work, yet in the taxonomic name functions as the author. This is the case when the actual author was explicitly stated in the original publication, either by a general statement ( " all zoological descriptions in this work were written by Smith " ), or in a more specific form (" the following three descriptions were written by Jiménez "," this name is the same to me and Wang attributed, because she has contributed content to describe "). In the 1800s it was usual in such cases, should enforce the abbreviated name of the other author directly below the text of the description or diagnosis.

If the name of another author, however, was only mentioned behind the new taxonomic names in the title ( and was not repeated with the diagnosis, to ascribe the diagnosis of this person), then that meant at that convention that the authorship of the other person was referring only to the new name and not the description. Such authorship of names are not covered by Article 50.1 and are generally not accepted, as these authors were not responsible for the description. Some authors still allow for derogations, for example, if they are of the opinion that the rules were unfair.

Before 1895 had different conventions regarding the authorship, each group of animals had their own traditions. Therefore, can be found in ancient literature often different author names specified. Based on the original description, it is now generally relatively easy to determine the correct author names as all information must be contained there and no secondary sources must be consulted.

Due to the still very imprecise wording in the code and the virtual absence of examples, there are nevertheless in some cases inconsistencies in the interpretation of the rules. Not clear, for example, the order of co- authors, if several authors have explicitly contributed to the description and no order was decided in the work itself.

Examples from practice

In the author's name, the full name is given, not abridged form and without first name (s). The date ( actual year of original publication ) is added thereto, may enter a comma between author and year is set ( the comma is not required and does not contain any additional information ).

  • Balaena mysticetus Linnaeus, 1758
  • Anser albifrons ( Scopoli, 1769)

An author may have also named a type of himself. That sounds unusual and rarely occurs, and contrary to the unwritten rules, but is not prohibited by the ICZN Code.

  • Xeropicta krynickii ( Krynicki, 1833)

Author's initials

If multiple authors have the same last name, initials are often given, ie the first letter of the first name ( or part of the name, for example, A. Ferussac instead AEJPJF d' Audebard de Ferussac and J. Ferussac instead JPL d' Audebard de Ferussac ). There are no standards for this procedure, initials are not added by all authors, and in all animal groups and databases, and in principle only within the different narrow horizon of certain specialists ( ie within a manageable group of animals, sometimes only a particular region, and often only if the people of the same surname have published the same period). Initials are for taxonomists often useful to distinguish different people can (which will not work if there are multiple P. Müller, C. Pfeiffer and George Sowerby gave Brettingham ).

Initials are problematic because they lead to conflicts between taxonomists, whose mission is to provide unique names for the animals available, and life scientists and others who use this name and work with them in electronic environments want. For various reasons initials are not recommended in the Biodiversity computer science. They usually represent serious obstacles when very different databases should interact. The damage that is caused by the initials, is much higher than its benefits for taxonomists.

Are O.F. For a computer Müller, O. Müller and Müller different strings, also the difference between OF Müller, OF Müller and OF Müller can be problematic. Fauna Europaea is a typical example of a database in which the initials OF and OF are read as many different strings. Those who are looking for all names described by Otto Friedrich Müller need to know that (1 ) the data of the various data suppliers of Fauna Europaea mixed after several standards were created (OF Müller, OF Müller, Müller and O. Müller), and (2) the search function does not OF Müller place when by OF Müller or Mueller is searched.

In Australia specifically, a program was developed to facilitate non- taxonomists who work with databases to determine whether it is in two variants author name, by the same author or different. The program is inadequate. In the above example, the program suggests that OF Müller are 1776 and 1776 PLS Müller identical ( which is not true, Philipp Ludwig Statius Muller was another ), while " H. & A. Ad. " and " Adams & Adams " in the opinion of the program do not match (which is also wrong, H. Adams & A. Adams are meant ).

The ICZN Code does not explicitly about initials, but in the many given in the code examples with taxa names no initials are consistently used.

Spelling of the name of the author

By strict application of the ICZN Code, the sign of genus, species and year are precisely defined in an existing genus of Style author-date name. The main problem in zoology is the consistent spelling of the name of the author. The ICZN Code are to no mandatory instructions and a few recommendations.

A widely followed advice is that the name of a zoological author not abbreviate ( but spell out in full ), the main difference to handling in botany.

There are no official standards for the spellings of authors in zoology, and unlike in botany no one has ever attempted to propose such standards for zoological authors. The reason is the high unmanageable number of authors in zoology.

It is generally accepted that the author's name should be in the nominative case, even if it was specified in the original publication in another case. The author's name should also be generally written in the Latin script, if possible. There are currently, however, no universally accepted conventions for transcription from non- Latin scripts.

Well it is also recognized that the names of authors should be written with special characters, so diacritics, ligatures, spaces and punctuation marks. The first letter is often written in capital letters, in French and Belgian names ( De Wilde, D' Orbigny, D' Alton, not de Wilde, d' Orbigny, d' Alton ). The German title "of" not part of the last name of an author. Also in Chinese and Korean names only the last name is listed. Co- authors are separated by commas, the last co- author should be separated by "&".


  • Pipadentalium Yoo 1988 ( Scaphopoda )
  • Sinentomon Yin 1965 ( Protura )
  • Belbolla huanghaiensis Huang & Zhang 2005 ( Nematoda )

Apart from these there are no generally accepted conventions. The author can either be written following a self-defined standard ( Linnaeus 1758, Linnaeus 1766 ), or according to the original source, the names will then not always written the same ( Linnæus 1758, Linnaeus 1766 ), or we are dealing with data from different sources to do with non-uniform handling of standards.

Authors of nomina nuda

A new name without any description or reference or illustration is a nomen nudum. A nomen nudum has no author and no date, such a name is not available. If desired or in a text is necessary, yet to prove such a name with an author, then this should be indicated.

Sensu name

A " sensu - name " (sensu = " meaning", sensu should not be italicized ) is a previously established name that has been used incorrectly by an author, for example, a lack certain species. Technically, this is only a later use of a name, not a new name, he has also not have its own author. Taxonomists have often unwritten rules for authorship for sensu names placed to document the first and original source of the incorrect use of a name. However, this is not in accordance with the ICZN Code.


  • Hartmann presented a 1841 western alpine snail Pupa ferrari Porro, 1838 in the genus Sphyradium Charpentier, 1837, which Charpentier had set up for some similar species. Westerlund argued in 1887 that Pupa ferrari should be placed in a different genus, and suggested the name Coryna for this and some other species. Pilsbry argued in 1922, Westerlund have Coryna 1887 as a replacement name for Sphyradium sensu Hartmann, 1841 introduced ( sensu therefore should not be italicized, the term Sphyradium sensu Hartmann, 1841 would be misunderstood as a species name ). But as a sensu - name is no available name with its own author and year, is Pilsbrys argument is not consistent with the current rules.