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Nereidae vs. Nereididae

Chris Glasby c.glasby at niwa.cri.nz
Thu Jul 11 04:44:35 EST 1996

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

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