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I know that a binomial name may be followed by the name of the reader who has been the first to identify the species and to give it that binomial name.

It is not completely clear to me what the same of a botanist, zoologist etc. means if it is placed between parentheses, as in Blysmus compressus (L.) Panzer. Does it mean that Panzer gave that species the binomial name Blysmus compressus but it was Linnaeus that identified it as a species? I cannot find precise information on line, nor in my books...

Moreover, the pattern may get more complicated if we introduce the subspecies, for example another Cyperacea: Carex ferruginea Scop. subsp. macrostachys (Bertol.) Arcang.. It seems quite trivial to me that Scopoli (Scop.) identified and gave the species the name Carex ferruginea; as to the subspecies, did Arcangeli (Arcang.) named it macrostachys after that Bertoloni (Bertol.) had identified it as a subspecies?

I thank any answerer very much.

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    $\begingroup$ If I remember correctly, a name in parenthesis means that that person (eg. L.) discovered and named the species, but the species was later on re-categorized into a new genus/family/etc. and then given a new name. The person who re-categorized and renamed it has their name appear after the parenthesis (eg. Panzer) $\endgroup$ – C_Z_ Jan 28 '16 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ @CactusWoman Thank you very much for your comment! Am I right if I understand it to mean that L. gave Blysmus compressus the name X compressus (where X is name other than Blysmus) and then Panzer identified it as a member of the Blysmus genus? Analogously, I would think that Bertol. gave Carex ferruginea macrostachys the name X Y macrostachys but it was Arcang. that attributed it to the Carex ferruginea species... Or have I misunderstood? Thank you again! $\endgroup$ – Self-teaching worker Jan 29 '16 at 9:34
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, that seems to be correct. Blysmus compressus, according to the Flora of China, was originally named Schoenus compressus by Linnaeus, then underwent a number of reclassifications before ending up with the current classification. $\endgroup$ – C_Z_ Jan 29 '16 at 16:30
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    $\begingroup$ It is important to note that classifications of species can be very complicated, with the same organism being reclassified many times by many different people. Also, an organism needn't keep its species epithet (the second part of the binomial) after being reclassified. If species Foo barus is later reclassified into the Baz genus, but a species with the name Baz barus already exists, the species will be given a new species epithet, ending up with a name like Baz spamus. Nomenclature can actually get rather complicated! $\endgroup$ – C_Z_ Jan 29 '16 at 16:34
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As @C_Z_ mentions, the double author citation is due to a naming revision. In your case, 'Panzer' has revised the name given by 'L' (Linneus). It can for instance be due to an assignment to a new genus or a change in rank status (e.g. going from subspecies to species).

Note that author citations differ between botany and zoology, where changes in authorship are usually not recognized in zoology (as long as there is a proper and complete species description in the first place), while the botanical code allows for multiple author citations. From Wikipedia: Author citation (botany):

... in contrast to the situation in zoology, where no authorship change is recognized within family-group, genus-group, and species-group names, thus a change from subspecies to species, or subgenus to genus, is not associated with any change in cited authorship

So under the Zoological code, the old author name is kept when a species is reassinged to a new genus, e.g. when Seriola gracilis (Lowe, 1843) --> Cubiceps gracilis (Lowe, 1843). On the other hand, the Botanical code allows for multiple and sequential revisions, so you can have situations as "Dummy species (L.) Thom. emend. Müll.".

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