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AGRICULTURE SSS ein Conto Nis goto Sines





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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Washington, D. C., July 5, 1902.

Str: I have the honor to transmit herewith, as No. 23 of North American Fauna, a technical work on the generic names of mammals, by my assistant, Dr. Theodore Sherman Palmer. It consists of three parts: (1) An annotated list of the generic names of mammals; (2) an alphabetical list of the families of mammals, and (3) a classified list of the generic names, arranged by orders and families.

The first part was begun by me in 1884, but owing to pressure of other work I was unable to carry it on, and turned it over to Dr. Palmer for completion. The second and third parts are wholly Dr. Palmer's.

Respectfully, C. Hart Merriam, Chief, Biological Survey.

Hon. JAwEs Wirsow,

Secretary of Agriculture.



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No. 23,



3y T- S. PALMER,

Assistant, Biological Survey.




Since the publication of the tenth edition of the ‘Systema Naturee’ of Linneus, in 1758, the number of generic names of mammals has multiplied with ever-increasing rapidity. This fact can readily be appreciated if the intervening century and a half be divided into three periods of approximately even length: (1) 1758-1800, (2) 1801-1850, (3) 1851-1900. At the beginning of the first period only 39 genera were recognized, but at its close about 175 generic names had been pro- posed, of which probably less than 100 were recognized. At the end of the second period (1850) the number was approximately 1,200, and at the close of the third had increased to more than 4,000, of which 1,840 were admitted by Trouessart as entitled to recognition. In 1901 more than 100 new generic names were added to the list.

This rapid increase in the number of names has been due partly to increased activity in systematic work, partly to subdivision of older groups of mammals, partly to duplication of names through inad- vertence or otherwise, but more especially to the marvelous develop- ment in paleontology. Of the genera described before 1800, only three— Mammut, Megalonyx, and Megatherium—belong to extinct groups. <A few years later this number was augmented by the names of numerous forms described from the Paris basin; since then, by the names required for the hosts of extinct mammals described from the deposits of France, Germany, Greece, India, Australia, the United States, and Argentina.

Investigation has shown the necessity of subdividing older groups, as the older generic limits were too broad to permit grouping forms with sufficient precision. As a result, the genus of to-day is much


more restricted than that of a century or more ago, and consequently the recognized genera and subgenera have greatly increased in num- ber. Early authors gave little attention to questions of priority, and the difficulty of consulting current literature and of keeping abreast of investigations made in foreign lands was greater than at the present day; hence each author quoted only papers accessible to him and fre- quently overlooked those of his contemporaries. Thus, in several cases the same group received a different name in English, French, and German works. Generic names in all branches of zoology have now become so numerous that it is erowing more and more difficult to select those which have not previously been used in other classes; preoccupied names have consequently steadily increased in number, resulting in duplication, which, though difficult to avoid, is none the less to be avoided. Unnecessary duplication has also been introduced by the work of purists who refused to recognize barbaric or native names. The common names adopted as generic terms by Lacépéde, Lesson, and others, were rejected by Cuvier, Illiger, and their follow- ers, because such terms lacked classical origin or form. (See pp. 29, 45.)

]t is easy to see that under these conditions confusion increased as time went on, and it became more and more difficult to ascertain the proper name for any particular group. This difficulty has been less- ened somewhat in recent years by the publication of indexes of genera, of which 8 that include genera and subgenera of mammals may be mentioned in this connection. These are Agassiz’s Nomenclator Zoologicus,’ 1842-46; Bronn’s Index Paleontologicus,’ 1848; Mar- schall’s * Nomenclator Zoologicus, 1873; Seudder’s * Nomenclator Zoologicus, " 1882; Trouessart’s * Catalogus Mammalium,’ 1897-98; Sherborn’s ‘Index Animalium, 1902; C. O. Waterhouse's Index Zoologicus,’ 1902, and the annual volumes of the * Zoological Record.’

Agassiz’s * Nomenclator Zoologicus? brought together about 1,000 names—most of those proposed prior to 1846; Marschall added 453 in 1873; and all of these names were republished in Scudder's * Universal Index.’ Trouessart’s * Catalogue’ of 1898 is a list of recognized genera and species, and although including many synonyms, makes no pre- tense at completeness in this respect. The annual volumes of the ‘Zoological Record’ contain lists of the new genera published during the year, but the early volumes did not contain the names of extinct groups, and thus far no general index of new names has been pub- lished. Agassiz and Marschall, moreover, give only references to the place of publication and volume in which published, without the page, which is often difficult to find. Scudder, in his ‘Supplemental List,’

“Seudder’s Nomenclator! consists of two parts: (1) ‘Supplemental List,’ con- taining chiefly additions to the indexes of Agassiz and Marschall, and (2) * Universal Index’ of the names published in the indexes of Agassiz, Marschall, Scudder, and the Zoological Record. Both parts were brought down to the close of 1879.


sometimes gives the type or included species with the names, but in the * Universal Index? he gives merely the authority and date without reference, and to find the place of publication it is necessary to con- sult previous lists. Trouessart also in many cases gives only authority and date.

Notwithstanding these indexes many names were overlooked, and as they were gradually brought to light some of those in current use were found to be preoecupied and others antedated. As a result, names have been shifted so frequently that it has become very difficult to keep pace with the changes, and general readers who do not appre- ciate the necessity for such changes regard the desired goal of sta- bility as practically unattainable. The extent of these changes is clearly shown in the case of North American mammals. Of the 160 or more generic names used by True in his ‘Provisional List of the Mammals of North and Central America, in 1885, some 35 or 40, or nearly 25 per cent of the entire number, have been changed during recent years on what may be termed bibliographical grounds. Ten of these names have been found to be preoccupied and the others have given way to earlier names. Changes like these can only be avoided by having complete indexes which will show not only what names have been proposed in a given class and on what species they are based, but also whether the same generic names have been previously applied to other groups.

The present index, which differs materially from previous ones in containing much information besides the name, authority, and place of publication, was undertaken in connection with the systematic work on mammals carried on by the Biological Survey, in order to collect for convenient reference not only the names given in previous indexes, but also those which had been overlooked or which had been published since the appearance of these works. Its object is to bring together all the generic and subgeneric names” of mammals, both living and extinet, which have been proposed since 1758, and to furnish such data of a bibliographical nature as to facilitate finding when and where each name was published, and to what group it was applied. It gives, so far as possible for each name, (1) authority, (2) date of publication, (3) order and family, (4) reference to original place of publication, (5) important secondary references, (6) variations in spelling, (7) type or included species, (8) locality of type species, (9) indication of pre- occupation, with cross reference to names, if any, proposed to replace them, (10) a statement (if published) of the part of extinct animals— as the skeleton, skull, teeth, etc. —which constituted the type specimen,

* Since it is often merely a matter of personal opinion whether a given group is considered as a genus or subgenus, genera and subgenera are here treated alike, except that a subgenus is indicated as such and if it has been subsequently raised to full generic rank this fact is indicated by a secondary reference.


(11) derivation, and (12) in some cases the application of the name. These facts, while comprising the essential data in regard to a given name, are of little assistance in ascertaining what names have been used for a particular group and which one of several proposed is entitled to recognition. To supply this information the names have been arranged alphabetically under orders and fariilies, each one accompanied by a statement of the authority, date, type or included species, and locality. It is thus possible to tell at a glance all the names which have been used in each family, the dates when they were proposed, the species on which they were based, and approximately the localities of these species.^ In preparing this part of the work it became necessary to collect family and subfamily names, only a few of which had been previously indexed systematically. "The work there- fore consists of 3 parts: (1) an alphabetical index of genera giving the essential facts in regard to each name; (2) an alphabetical index of families and subfamilies, showing the authority, place and date of pub- lication, and the order to which the name belongs; (3) a systematic index showing the generic names which have been proposed in each family, with the more important facts regarding authorities, dates, and types.

The present index was projected by Dr. C. Hart Merriam about 1884 and was intended at first to include merely the genera of living mammals with the exception of the cetaceans. When undertaken by the present writer in November, 1889, it contained about 250 names. Two years later a systematic examination was made of Scudder's ‘Universal Index,’ the * Zoological Record’ for 1878-91, and general works on mammals, and the names thus obtained, accompanied only by authority and date, were arranged alphabetically in a skeleton list on the plan of Scudder’s Index. Additional names were entered in this list from time to time and the references looked up and verified at the first opportunity. At the close of 1891 the number of genera verified was about 375; on January 1, 1893, it had increased to about 650; on January 1, 1894, to 2,045; on January 1, 1895, to about 3,300; on January 1, 1896, to 3,850; on January 1, 1897, to 3,900; on Janu- ary 1, 1898, to about 4,275; on January 1, 1899, to 4,318; on January 1, 1900, to about 4,400; and on July 1, 1902, to about 4,500. As the work progressed it was decided to change the plan so as to include all recent genera, and finally to make it complete by indexing extinct genera. Not only works on mammals but general serials and books of reference have been examined for names. Several indexes of

* ]t will be observed that no attempt is made to distinguish synonyms from valid names except in case of preoccupation. Such information must be sought in special monographs or works like Trouessart’s ‘Catalogus Mammalium.’ The data given in the following pages are merely the raw material which will assist the specialist engaged in revising a group to select the names he considers entitled to recognition.


genera of birds, fishes, crustacea, insects, etc., have been examined, and Seudders * Nomenclator? has been systematically examined at least twice for names in other groups which might preoccupy those of mammals. In short, no effort has been spared to render the list as complete and accurate as possible.

In August, 1894, the Department acquired from Mr. F. H. Water- house, librarian of the Zoological Society of London, a manuseript list of genera of mammals prepared on the same plan as his ‘Index Generum Avium' published in 1889. This manuscript was generously offered to the Department by the author upon his learning that an index similar in plan to his own, but somewhat broader in scope, was in course of preparation. This offer was at once accepted, and the list was found to contain 3,009 names accompanied by references to place of publication, while the Department list at that date contained 2,604 names, of which 2,848 had been verified. Beside 77 new names and 104 earlier references, many additional important secondary references were furnished by the Waterhouse list, but its greatest value lay in the check which it afforded on the whole work. It is interesting to note the close agreement in these two lists, independently compiled (each author being ignorant of the work undertaken by the other). Not only were practically the same names found in the two lists, but the references in most cases coincided exactly, and are, therefore, more trustworthy than if brought together by one individual.

While it was obviously impracticable to verify references so numer- ous and so widely scattered after the list was in type, as was said to have been done in the case of Bronn's celebrated Index, certain checks were used during the preparation of the work which eliminated many errors. The names were arranged on cards, typewritten to secure legi- bility and to avoid errors in spelling. Nearly all the references were verified independently by two persons, and many of the cards after- wards looked over by a third. Notwithstanding these precautions, many errors have undoubtedly crept in. In fact, with 4,500 names, most of which are accompanied by from six to twelve distinct items of information, not to mention the thousands of figures referring to vol- umes, pages, and years under the references, it can readily be seen that the possibility of error is very great. It is hoped that with the checks above mentioned, and especially with the acquisition of Waterhouse’s manuscript, comparatively few names have been overlooked and that few errors will be detected in the references; but in statements regard- ing types and classification absolute accuracy is unattainable, owing to the variety of ways in which genera have been proposed and the diver- sity of views held by leading systematists as to the position of many genera or even families.

At first an attempt was made to fix the type of each genus, but this proved impracticable and the plan of including all the species men-


tioned in the first description was adopted instead. Later on the types fixed by subsequent authors and revisers of groups were noted by inserting the word ‘type’ in parenthesis after the species so indicated by the first reviser, and by marking the reference to the paper from which this information was obtained ‘type fixed.’ All this of course necessitated a reexamination of many volumes and greatly delayed the progress of the work. Some cases which should have been reexamined may have been overlooked, thus adding another possible source of error. These details are mentioned, not to magnify the difficulties of the work or to condone errors which it may contain, but merely to show the probability of finding mistakes in an index of this kind in spite of the checks adopted to detect them.

Although nearly twenty years have elapsed since this index was first projected, very little headway was made until 1891, and the work has been actually in progress only about twelve years. The long delay in bringing it to completion has been due largely tothe desultory way in which the work had to be done, chiefly at odd moments in the intervals between more important official duties. Changes in the plan and the reexamination of references delayed it far more than would otherwise have been the case. Slow progress in undertakings of this kind is, how- ever, not unusual, as shown by Bronn's elaborate * Index Paleontolo- gicus,’ which was fifteen years in course of preparation. The present index was supposed to have been almost ready for publication in 1894, but had it been issued then it would have comprised only the alpha- betical index of genera (Part I) and only 80 per cent of the names now included. "The delay has resulted in enlarging the original scope of the work, the addition of nearly 1,000 names and much of the matter on etymology, and the incorporation of many corrections, which, although not perceptible, are none the less important. A number of rare books containing new names have been acquired, and several valuable general works recently published have been examined to the great benefit of the work. Among these may be mentioned Trouessart’s * Catalogus Mammalium, Roger’s * Verzeichniss der Fossilen Saügethiere,' Miller & Rehn’s * List of North American Land Mammals,’ Thomas's ‘Genera of Rodents,’ Sclater & Thomas’ * Book of Antelopes,^ W. L. Sclater’s * Mammals of South Africa, Lydekkers ‘Deer’ and *Oxen, Sheep, and Goats,’ the volumes on monkeys, marsupials, and British mammals in Allen's Naturalists’ Library, Beddard's ‘Mammals,’ Hay’s 'Cata- logue of Fossil Vertebrates of North America,’ Sherborn's Index Animalium," C. O. Waterhouse’s * Index Zoologicus, and numerous special monographs, including the paleontological papers of Ame- gbino, Hatcher, Matthew, Osborn, Roth, Scott, and Wortman.



Great care has been taken to ascertain the original place of publica- tion of every genus. This apparently simple object is often difficult of attainment, owing to the obscure manner in which some names are published and the practical impossibility of determining whether or not the reference found is really the first. The matter is important, since a difference of a few months or even a few days may decide the availability of a name." A difference in publication of one year caused the rejection of such well-known names as Arvicola, [somys, and Ochetodon, while priority of only three days resulted in the adoption of Matschie's Zenkerella in place of De Winton's Aethurus, in 1898. Hipposideros Gray is sometimes quoted 1834 (Proc. Zool. Soc. Lon- don, p. 53), where it is a nomen nudum, while reference to the original description in 1831 (Zool. Miscellany, p. 37) shows it to be a valid name. Oreas Desmarest is usually quoted 1822, and if correctly so it is pre- occupied by a genus of Lepidoptera (1806) and by a genus of Polyps (1808). It is, however, said to have been described in 1804, and should this prove to be a fact the name would supplant Zawrotraqus, which is now adopted for the group.

Different species are also likely to be enumerated in later references, and the supposed type derived from a reference commonly accepted as the earliest may prove to be different from the actual type as shown by the original description. Transference of type may be illustrated by the different editions of Linneus: In the tenth edition, 1758, J/anzs contains only one species, JM. pentadactyla, which is necessarily the type; in the twelfth edition, 1766, two species are given, JV. penta- dactyla and M. tetradactyla, and the latter has recently been given as the type of the genus. (W. L. Sclater, Mamm. S. Africa, II, p. 216, 1901.)

Secondary references have been freely admitted to indicate the sev- eral publications in which a name appeared at close intervals, to indi- cate changes in spelling, to call attention to important monographs or revisions of groups, to show when subgenera were raised to generic rank, and to fix responsibility for determination of types. No attempt, however, has been made to include every important second- ary reference, and more citations will be found under some names than under others. The reason is evident, for while well-known generic names may be found in almost any book of reference, some of

.* A few years ago Oldfield Thomas, supposing that Cuvier's well-known genus Cricetus dated from the * Régne Animal, 1817, proposed to replace it by Hamster Lacépéde, 1799 (Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1896, 1019). The name, however, was used by Kerr in 1792, and in reality has seven years’ priority over Hamster.


the obscure ones are extremely difficult to find, and hence it is desir- able to bring together the more important facts in the history of names published in works which are not generally accessible.

The references are brief, but at the same time full enough to indi- cate clearly the book or paper (without confusing titles of similar but distinct works), the edition, volume, page, plate, and figure where the name may be found. As a rule the inclusive pagination is given instead of the first page or the one on which the generic name appears, in order to indicate to some extent the length of the description and thus give a clue to the detail with which the group is treated.

Nearly every reference has been verified, and in the majority of cases checked independently by two persons, so as to eliminate as far as possible errors due to copying. It is difficult to appreciate the time, labor, and energy expended to secure accuracy in this respect. Special trips have been made to libraries in distant cities in this country,and my assistant has visited the principal libraries in Bergen, Berlin, London, and Paris in the quest for rare books. Still, in a few instances, it has been necessary to take references to inaccessible works at second hand, but these are quoted or accompanied by a statement of the authority from which they have been derived.


The determination of the date of publication is one of the most important points connected with nomenclature, as it is the foundation of all matters respecting priority of names. Ina technical sense the publication of a book or paper is distinct from the date of printing and practically synonymous with distribution.” Publication is defined by the Century Dictionary as ** The act of offering a book, map, print, piece of music, or the like, to the publie by sale or by gratuitous distribution." According to the late Dr. Coues, ** A printed work is ‘published’ if a single copy is placed in a publie library.”? Although it is a general rule that the date of publication is to be accepted unless there is evidence to show that it is incorrect, yet it must be remem- bered that many scientific papers, particularly monographs and elabo- rate works, are published in parts, and when these parts are gathered in volumes the date on the title page is, in most cases, simply that of the last brochure. Such publications, therefore, have both a real and an apparent date—the real date being the time of publication of the separate parts; the apparent date that on the title page. These two dates may vary several months or even years, as in the case of the ‘Proceedings of the U. S. National Museum,’ ‘Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London’ for 1850, or the ‘Transactions of the Zoological Society of London.’ An extreme case is that of Pallas’

a@See Allen, ‘Science,’ N. S., IV, 691, 838, 1896. ^ Coues, in Allen’s Mon. N. Am. Pinnipeds, p. 254, footnote, 1880.


‘Zoologia Rosso-Asiatica, quoted by some authors as 1811 and by others as 1831. This discrepancy in dates is due to the fact that the work was partially distributed in 1811, but not completed until twenty yearslater. New genera and species described in such works, if quoted from the date of completion, may be incorrectly considered synonyms of other names which really appeared later.

Since, as already mentioned, a difference of a few months or even a few days may determine the acceptance or rejection of a name, it is important to ascertain, with as much accuracy as possible, the exact date of publication, and no effort has been spared to attain this object. In the present index, when the real date differs from the apparent date, both are cited, the latter being given in parentheses or in the form ‘for 18507, ete., followed by the real date at the end of the refer- ence. In recent years considerable labor has been expended in ascer- taining the dates of publication of some of the more important zoological works, and several special papers on this subject have been published, chiefly by Richmond, Sclater, Sherborn, and Waterhouse. These papers are as follows:


Bush, Lucy P. Note on the Dates of Publication of Certain Genera of Fossil Verte- brates. «Am. Journ. Sci., 4th ser., XVI, 96-98, July, 1903. Geoffroy, I. Table Méthodique et Analytique des Ouvrage de Geoffroy Saint Hilaire. Vie, Travaux, etc, d' Etienne Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, Paris, 421-471, 1847. Marsh, 0. C. Note on the Dates of some of Prof. Cope's Recent Papers. - Am. Journ. Sci. and Arts, 3d ser., V, 235-2306, Mar., 1873. Richmond, C. W. On the Date of Lacépéde's Tableaux. < Auk, XVI, 525-329, Oct., 1899. i Sclater, P. L. List of the Dates of Delivery of the Sheets of the Proceedings’ of the Zoological Society of London, from the commencement in 1830 to 1859 inclusive. < Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1893, 436-440. Sherborn, C. Davies. On the Dates of the Parts, Plates, and Text of Schreber’s 'Süugthiere. «Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1891, 587-592. Dates of the Parts of P. S. Pallas’ . . . ‘Nov. Spec. Quadr. Glirium.’ <Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 6th ser., VII, 236, 1891. On the Dates of Shaw and Nodder’s ‘Naturalist’s Miscellany.’ «Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 6th ser., XV, 375-376, 1895. On the Dates of the Natural History portion of Savigny’s ‘Description de l'Egypte. «Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1897, 285-288. Note on the Dates of the ‘‘The Zoology of the ‘Beagle.’’? <Ann. and Mag, Nat. Hist., 6th ser., X X, 483, 1897. Lacépéde's Tableaux . . . des Mammifcres et des Oiseaux; 1799. <Nat. Sci., XL, 432; 1897. Dates of Blainville's *Ostéographie.' < Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 7th ser., IT, 76, 1898. A Note on the Date of the Parts of ‘Humboldt and Bonpland's Voyage: Obser- vations de Zoologie; «Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 7th ser., III, 428, 1899. Index to the ‘‘Systema Naturae"! of Linnzeus, Manchester Museum Handbooks, Publication 25, pp. 1-108, London, 1899. Sherborn, C. Davies, and Jentink, F. A. On the Dates of the Parts of Siebold’s ‘Fauna Japonica’ and Giebel's ‘Allgemeine Zoologie' (first edition). <Proc. Zool. Soe. London, 1895, 149-150.


Sherborn, C. Davies, and Palmer, T. S. Dates of Charles d'Orbigny's Dictionnaire Universel d'Histoire Naturelle,’ 1839-1849. «Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 7th ser., III, 350, 1899. Sherborn, C. Davies, and Woodward, B. B. The Dates of the Encyclopédie Méthodique’ (Zoology). «Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1898, 582-584. On the Dates of the ‘Encyclopédie Méthodique: Additional Note. <Proe. Zool. Soc. London, 1899, 595. Waterhouse, F. H. On the Dates of Publication of the Parts of Sir Andrew Smith's ‘Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa. «Proc. Zool. Soe. London, 1880, 489-491. The Dates of Publication of some of the Zoological Works of the late John Gould, F. R. S., pp. 1-59, London, 1885.

Since a number of works are referred to under different dates from those indicated on the title pages, the following list has been pre- pared to show the authority for the dates assigned to some of the more important volumes cited in the index:

DATES OF PUBLICATION. American Naturalist, Vols. XII-X XVIII. XII.—See Ibid., p. 849, 1878. XIII-XIV.—See XV, 88, Jan., 1881. XV.—See XVI, 34-35, Jan., 1882. XVI.—See XVII, 60, Jan., 1883. XVII.—See XVIII, 41, Jan., 1884. XVIII.—See XIX, 57, Jan., 1885. XIX.—See XX, 42, Jan., 1886. XXIII, 1889.—See Ibid., 1088, Dec., 1889. XXV (Dec. No.).—See XXVI, 237, Mar., 1892. XXVI.—S8ee XXVII, 27, Jan., 1893. XX VIII.—See Ibid., 1013, Dec., 1894.

Beagle, Zoology of the Voyage of H. M. 8. ‘Beagle’.—See Sherborn, Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 6th ser., X X, 483, 1897. :

Beechey, Zoology of the Voyage of H. M. S. Blossom’ < Literary Gazette & Journ. Belle Lett.,. London, No. 1179, p. 542, Aug. 24, 1839 (List of New Books).

Blainville, H. M. D., Ostéographie, 1839-64.—See Gill, Smithsonian Mise. Coll. XI, No. 230, pp. 32-34, July, 1871.

Blanford, W. T., Fauna of British India, Mammalia, 1888-91. See Preface.— The first part containing Introduction, Primates, Carnivora, and Insectivora (pp. 1-250) was published at the end of June, 1888; the volume was completed at the