Zoological Taxa of William Healey Dall
Boss, Kenneth J.
Ruhoff, Florence A.
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William Healey Dall (1845-1927) contributed voluminously to the body of descriptive work published on mollusks during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was Honorary Curator of the United States National Collection of Mollusks, Smithsonian Institution, from 1881 until his death, and de facto Curator from 1869 until 1914 when Paul Bartsch was officially appointed to that post. Dall flourished during a period which might be called "The Descriptive Age of Malacology," a time when the scientific world took stock of the discoveries resulting from the great expeditions and explorations during the middle of the last century. In America, he was rivalled only by his contemporary, Henry Augustus Pilsbry; both men were prodigious describers of taxa. Clench and Turner (1962) have provided a bibliography of the works of Pilsbry as well as an important catalog of the organisms he named. Bartsch, Rehder, and Shields (1946) and Woodring (1958) have presented helpful biographical and bibliographical information on Dall, but an index to the animals he described has never been compiled. The present work is designed to provide an alphabetical list of all the zoological taxa introduced by Dall, at and below the generic level. The organisms described belong predominantly to the Mollusca, but he also named mammals, tunicates, crustaceans, annelids, brachipods, coelenterates, and sponges. These are treated separately in the catalog. Ordinal, familial, and subfamilial names are not listed in this work since the dating of suprageneric taxa is controversial and anything but simple. Initially, we attempted to include suprageneric taxa, but abandoned including them when it became evident that usually we were unable to fix the earliest data of publication, and very ofter Dall himself did not indicate that the name was new.