Nomenclatural Citations

This work is a collection that tries to offer all the original citings provided by taxonomists. It should only contain the original citing given by the author who gave an organism its current binomial name.

Example: Chrysosplenium alternifolium L. Species Plantarum 1: 398. 1753

Chrysosplenium alternifolium is the binomial name given to a plant. This name is in Latin, and is used by biologists and botanists from all over the world, so there can be no confusion as to what someone is talking about when people from different cultures meet. This binomial name was first given by Carolus Linnaeus. (L. in this case stands for Linnaeus) This name was given in the year 1753. The description of the plant and the binomial name were published for the first time in the book Species Plantarum, which was indeed written by Carolus Linneaus.

This book tries to collect how Carolus Linnaeus described 'his' Chrysosplenium alternifolium.

Why is this important?

Just giving a name to something doesn't mean people know what was meant. In 1753 Linnaeus didn't have the possibility to make photographs of his plants, so he could not show that in his books. The only thing he had were descriptions. Trying to describe what he sees, and then giving that a name. This is still done today. Pictures alone of a new species is not enough to distinguish an organism from another. Some organisms look so much alike, that two pictures might almost seem identical, while taxonomists see the two as different species. So the description is important.

The problem is, that over the last 250 years, many species were described by hundreds of biologists, botanists, zoologists, etc. Sometimes two people were describing a certain species at almost the same time, giving a species two names. And specialists published their descriptions in magazines, from all over the world. To keep up with all these publications one would need to subscribe to hundreds of magazines to keep up with all new developments. So sometimes people were just unaware of the fact that something was already described before.

Today there's still not one repository, for all these descriptions. And that's where this wiki comes in.


Last modified on 2 October 2011, at 16:32