Nereidae vs. Nereididae

Geoff Read at
Thu Jul 11 10:15:40 EST 1996

Alex Muir wrote:
> That first message came from mcamargo at on Sunday the 17th. 
> of December last year.

I would just add that old messages are always available in a
searchable archive at 

So even if your e-mail box fills up and explodes (a slight
exaggeration I hope ;-))  recovery of the past public messages is


> I therefore spoke to Mr. Melville (then Secretary to the ICZN),
> who assured me that under the circumstances NEREIDIDAE is the
> correct spelling for the family name.

Chambers and Garwood (1992 p.1) in a paper on Scottish nereids
specifically elected to continue with Nereidae and not Nereididae
*in anticipation* of the ICZN proposal to amend article 29b(i). Now
the June 1995 draft of the fourth edition of the code says under
article 29d "if a spelling of a family-group name ... has won
general acceptance before 1997 that spelling is to be maintained,
whether or not it is the original spelling and whether or not its
derivation ... is in accordance with the grammatical procedures [of
article 29]." Has Nereididae now won general acceptance? I don't
think so (viz. Fauchald 1977 ?). Therefore the case will/could be
referred to the Commission for a ruling (groan!). However, at the
moment that doesn't matter as "the discussion draft is under no
circumstances to be used as a set of rules." ;-)

The current situation is that the new zoological code (probably
somewhat more conservative than the draft) is expected to come into
force on 1 January 1999 (fide public e-mail from Pres. ICZN). 

For less formal namings we might take a cue from the original
Pettibone (1971) paper and stick to nereids and for that matter 

What happened in Pholoidae/Pholoididae of which the former is 
current I believe? (I'm too busy/lazy to look it up!)

Before anyone else says it -- yes this sort of thing does tend to 
make people wonder whether taxonomists have got their priorities 
right (pun intended). It's a thankless task but someone has to do it!

Geoff Read             < at>
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