Karl von Linné (his Latinized name is Carolius Linnaeus) is today honored as the father of the binomial system of scientific nomenclature. Several Linnaean Societies celebrate his name and work to preserve the tradition he established. First, let's set a few definitions to aid in understanding the rest of this page:
Until about 100 years ago there was a great deal of confusion about the proper formal names of animals and plants. The situation was so chaotic that zoologists from around the world finally agreed to a set of rules for nomenclature, and vested authority for making decisions on disputed cases in an International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. Botanists and other scientific groups now also have similar international commissions. In the listing below you will see mention of ICZN decisions affecting Linnaeus' names.
When you read "Homo sapiens [Linnaeus 1758]" that means that Linnaeus was the author or first publisher of the name Homo sapiens. If you should see "Eulemur mongoz [Linnaeus 1766]" then credit is also being given to Linnaeus for authorship even though he is not the author of the genus name "Eulemur" which was not coined until 1988 by Simmons and Rumpler. Authorship notation after a full species name pertains to the species only. The same is true in the case of a trinomial name, unless it is for the nominate form. For example, Linnaeus is the author of Eulemur macaco macaco, a nominate form, but he is not the author of another subspecies known as Eulemur macaco flavifrons. Regarding generic names, when you look in a book like Walker's Mammals of the World you will find at the headings for each genus something like "Lemur Linnaeus, 1758" and "Eulemur Simmons and Rumpler, 1988."
Over time as more and more species are found, and more about their natural biology is learned, taxonomists have the confidence to "revise" the taxonomy of a genus or family. When a species is "moved" into another genus it retains the original specific or trivial name. However, the ending of that name may be changed, under the rules of nomenclature, so that the Latin gender agrees with that of the new generic name. Thus, you will see below that the Linnaean name Simia capucina became Cebus capucinus, and Simia sciurea became Saimiri sciureus. Despite the change in ending, authorship remains vested in the original describer.
When a family of animals is subjected to intensive study by taxonomists (as is the case with primates today) the scientific names found in popular books may seem to vary widely. Depending upon the book you are reading the names, both scientific and common, may not match those given in the extensive listings of primates on this website. Unless you have found a name for a very recently described species, you will probably locate what you are looking for in a nearby genus. However, no attempt is made to show all the names of subspecies in these listings.
Names originally misspelled may sometimes be corrected. I suspect this was the case regarding mungoz and sphynx in the list below, but need to research this point further. I am also uncertain as to why there seems to be confusion over the situation with chimpanzee/orangutan and attributing the name troglodytes to Linnaeus and conserving his name satyrus. I will undoubtedly revise these comments after seeing a facsimile copy of Systema Naturae 1758 and reading the ICZN decision in the matter.
Linnaeus named 42 species of primates. In the counts given at right two of those names fit two categories, so you see 44 items given. Of those 42 names we only use two today exactly as Linnaeus presented them. Of his species still recognized today, all but two have been moved to new genera, one to a new order.
|2 Linnaean Names Still in Full Usage|
|29  Names; Transferred to New Genera|
|10 Names Entered into Synonymy|
|1 Transferred to Non-Primate Order|
|2 Searching for Info re: Disposition|
|Linnaean Name||Date||Now Known As:||Taxonomic Notes from Smithsonian Database.|
|Homo sapiens||1758||Homo sapiens||Linnaeus 1758|
|Homo troglodytes||1758||Pan troglodytes||Simia troglodytes Blumenbach 1775.
Pan Oken 1816. ICZN 1988.
Simia given as original name by Smithsonian.
|Simia satyrus||1760||Pongo pygmaeus||Pongo Lacépède 1799.|
|Lemur catta||1758||Lemur catta||Linnaeus 1758|
|Lemur macaco||1766||Eulemer macaco||Eulemur Simons and Rumpler 1988. Type L. mongoz|
|Lemur mungoz||1766||Eulemur mongoz|
|Lemur tardigradus||1758||Loris tardigradus||Loris É. Geoffroy 1796. Type Lemur tardigradus|
|Simia syrichta||1758||Tarsius syrichta||Tarsius Storr 1780|
|New World Monkeys|
|Simia belzebul||1766||Alouatta belzebul||Alouatta Lacépède 1799.|
|Simia seniculus||1766||Alouatta seniculus|
|Simia paniscus||1758||Ateles paniscus||Ateles É. Geoffroy 1806. Type S. paniscus L. 1758.|
|Simia jacchus||1758||Callithrix jacchus||Callithrix Erxleben 1777. Type. S. jacchus L. 1758.|
|Simia apella||1758||Cebus apella||Cebus Erxleben 1777 type = Simia capucina L. 1758|
|Simia capucina||1758||Cebus capucinus|
|Simia rosalia||1766||Leontopithecus rosalia||Leontopithecus Lesson 1840. L. makikina = S. rosalia|
|Simia pithecia||1766||Pithecia pithecia||Pithecia Desmarest 1804. Type S. pithecia L. 1766.|
|Simia midas||1758||Saguinas midas||Saguinas Hoffmannsegg 1807.
Saguinas ursula = Simia midas
|Simia oedipus||1758||Saguinus oedipus|
|Simia sciurea||1758||Saimiri sciureus||Saimiri Voigt, 1831. Type S. sciurea L. 1758|
|Old World Monkeys|
|Simia cephus||1758||Cercopithecus cephus||C. Linnaeus 1758 (where?) Type S. diana L. 1758.
Designated a subgroup of Simia by Linnaeus.
Simia suppressed by Opinion 114 of ICZN 1929.
|Simia diana||1758||Cercopithecus diana|
|Simia nictitans||1766||Cercopithecus nictitans|
|Simia aethiops||1766||Chlorocebus aethiops||Chlorocebus Gray 1870. Type S. sabaea = S. aethiops|
|Simia sabaea||1766||Chlorocebus sabaeus||Seen by some taxonomists as a distinct species|
|Simia cynomolgos||?||Macaca fascicularis||in The Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates|
|Simia nemestrina||1766||Macaca nemestrina||Macaca Lacépède 1799. Type S. inuus = S.sylvanus|
|Simia silenus||1758||Macaca silenus|
|Simia sylvanus||1758||Macaca sylvanus|
|Simia sphynx||1758||Mandrillus sphinx||Mandrillus Ritgen 1824. Type S. maimon = S. sphinx|
|Simia hamadryas||1758||Papio hamadryas||Papio Erxleben 1777 = Cynocephalus Desmarest 1820|
|Simia cynocephalus||1758||Papio cynocephalus||Seen by some taxonomists as a distinct species|
|Simia aygula||? syn.||Presbytis comata||Desmarest 1822. Orig. name Semnopithecus comatus.
P. aygula is a nomen oblitum for Macaca fascicularis.
No mention of Linnaeus found.
|Simia apedia||?||?||No information yet regarding disposition of this name.|
|Simia morta||?||?||No information yet regarding disposition of this name.|
|Lemur volans||1758||Cynocephalus volans|
Cynocephalus Boddaert 1768. Type L. volans L. 1758. (Flying Lemurs). Taxonomists now consider the Flying Lemurs closely related to the Primates but in their own Order Dermoptera. They are non-primate.