BZN & Polydora websteri

Jason Williams jwil4024 at
Thu Aug 20 03:39:18 EST 1998

On Aug. 18th Geoff Read wrote:

>The following new ICZN application is as yet unpublished, but listed as
>received  in the June issue of Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
>55(2):73. Perhaps the originators would like to explain more about it, but
>I imagine the text may appear in 55(3) September issue.
>"Polydora websteri Hartman, 1943 (Annelida, Polychaeta): proposed ruling
>that the specific name is not to be treated as a replacement name for P.
>caeca Webster, 1879, and designation of a lectotype. (Case 3080). V. I.
>Radashevsky & J. D. Williams."

Dear Geoff and others,

The ICZN application mentioned above is one of three publications now in
review by Vasily and I which attempt to clear up a problem in the Polydora
ciliata/websteri group. Three years ago while investigating the feeding
behavior of Dipolydora commensalis I discovered a species of Polydora
similar to but distinct from Polydora websteri. After SEM examination and
variation in adult morphological characters we determined that the species
matches the description of Polydora caeca by Webster (1879). Unfortunately,
Webster's description was based on one specimen and it has been lost.
Hartman (1943) proposed the replacement name Polydora websteri for the
secondary homonym P. caeca and redescribed the species based on her own
material. After examination of Hartman's material and the present species
it is now apparent that Hartman dealt with a different species. To conserve
stability we have applied to the commission to 1) invalidate the status of
P. websteri as a replacement name for P. caeca and 2) apply the name P.
websteri to Hartman's material. Since the name P. caeca is permanently
invalid we have submitted an ms to Ophelia providing the description of a
new nominal species. Additionally, Vasily submitted a second ms to Ophelia
which provides the designation of a lectotype for P. websteri. Hopefully
these manuscripts will be out there soon so everyone can see the complete

best wishes,

Jason Williams
Department of Biological Sciences
100 Flagg Road
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI 02881
(401) 874-2649 Office
(401) 874-4256 FAX
e-mail jwil4024 at

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