In each written work it is advisable that a species name is written in full at first (rec. 51A; Appendix B10). The name of the author is optional although customary and often advisable (Article 51). This helps to avoid confusion between similar names and also shows which taxon concept is meant. Later mentions in the same paper can be abbreviated where this will not cause confusion. For example the genus name can be abbreviated to one (or rarely more letters – Appendix B11) and the author and date omitted. A few very well known author names such as Linnaeus (L.) and Fabricius (F.) are conventionally abbreviated.
- For example: Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758 can be written as A. mellifera L., 1758 or just A. mellifera.
- Where there are more than two authors, the term et al. can be used after the first author to save writing all the names out in full again (Appendix B12).