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  Re: [aroid-l] Credentials Required for Describing Aroids
From: "Peter Boyce" <peterboyce at myjaring.net> on 2004.08.22 at 13:31:04(12037)
Hi George

There are no formal qualifications needed to describe a new species (or
indeed taxon at any rank).

The most important things in order to publish and have scientifically
accepted a new species name are:

1. A herbarium specimen of the new species, including the inflorescence (the
'Type specimen' - think of it as the benchmark for the new name) must
prepared and deposited in a recognized herbarium

2. The Type specimen and the acronym of the herbarium in which it is
deposited must be cited in the paper.

3. A Latin protologue (a piece of text, written in Latin, stating how the
new species differs from the existing species most similar to it) must
accompany the type description - this is probably the most awkward thing for
untrained botanists, especially since such protologues are traditionally
written in the tricky abalative declension. I'd be happy to write one for
you if you let me have the salient characters for the new species.

4. A suitable epithet must be chosen (Latinized and agreeing in gender with
the genus in which it is being proposed - e.g., neuter Arum must have it's
species neuter too (e.g., Arum italicum not Arum italica) while feminine
Alocasia must have feminine species epithets; Alocasia alba (not album).

5. The description must be published in suitable biological journal, ideally
one that referees such papers - such as Aroideana.

The above are the vital things. There are several other non-vital but still
important things to consider that will make the paper useful to other folks.
Take a look at some of Tom Croat's recent papers in Aroideana to get an idea
of the lay-out and content of papers describing new species.

If it's any help, I'd be very happy to look over the draft mss as, too, I am
sure would other aroid botanists who subscribe to aroid-l.


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