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The Mammals of Texas - Online Edition

Appendix IV.

Scientific names.

The scientific name of a mammal as here used consists of two Latinized words followed by the name of a person. The first word designates the GENUS to which the animal is assigned; the second is the name of the SPECIES; and the third, the name of the AUTHORITY for the specific epithet (species name). If the person’s name is enclosed in parentheses, it indicates that he/she described the species under a generic name different from that in current use. For example, when Linnaeus described our mole in 1758 and gave it the specific name aquaticus he placed it in the genus Sorex. We now reserve the genus Sorex for a certain group of shrews and place the Texas moles in the genus Scalopus. Consequently, the scientific name of Texas moles is written Scalopus aquaticus (Linnaeus). On the other hand, when he described our fox squirrel in 1758 and gave it the specific epithet niger, he placed it in the genus Sciurus. We currently accept that arrangement so the scientific name of the fox squirrel appears as Sciurus niger Linnaeus — parentheses are omitted.