Following on from Alex Muir's eloquent explanation of why Nereididae
is to be preferred over Nereidae, how should we refer to the group in
an informal way, nereidids or nereids? In speech at least the former
sounds like you have a stutter, whilst anybody who knows
polychaetes will understand what is meant if you say nereids.
In scientific writing the the issue is not so clear in my mind. The
ICZN (1985) appears not to cover the formation of informal
names from formal family-group names (but I may be wrong). Is it the
unwritten rule that informal names are formed by dropping the family
-AE ending and adding an 's' - in which case nereidids would be
I personally favour nereids for both the spoken and written word (as
being more parsimonious(;-)), but I am sure some editors would object.
Also if anyone has an opinion on the correct spelling of the
adjectival use of the family (and subfamily) names. Is it for
example, nereidin species or nereidine species (or nereididin or
nereididine .... arrrrhhhhhg)?
Chris Glasby, Marine Taxonomy, NIWA - Greta Point, PO Box 14-901,
Kilbirnie, Wellington, New Zealand
email: c.glasby at niwa.cri.nz
phone: 64-4-386 0352 fax: 64-4-386 2153