IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

Status of Pherusea et al

Geoff Read gread at actrix.gen.nz
Thu Mar 25 07:08:17 EST 1999

The Longosomatidae are easily disposed of:

> .. the family Longosomatidae the type genus of which, Longosoma, 
> is a junior synonym of Heterospio.  In this case, Longosomatidae continues 
> as the family name despite the fact that the type genus is in synonymy.  

This is because Hartman attempted the change after 1960. A rule 
introduced in 1961 says, sorry Olga, but you can't do that anymore. The 
original name is kept. 

I'm not going to do a blow by blow of the code for the Pherusea issue (I 
may later). I just want people to think about the type concept and see if 
you agree with me.

The  type of a family is a nominal genus, the type of the genus is a 
nominal species, the type of the species is a specimen. For 
Flabelligeridae we look at the holotype of Flabelligera affinis Sars, 1829, 
if it still exists. We might not have thought about it, but we have been 
looking at it as the embodiment of the flabelligerids (= chloraemids) for a 
long time, over a hundred years, ever since Quatrefages coined the 
family name Chloraemiens in 1849 (family endings of -idae were not 
standardised until 1900).  He based it on some species of Chloraema 
Dujardin, which all are now junior synonyms of F. affinis. So if we 
maintain the name Flabelligeridae there is unbroken continuity in type 
concept. Flabelligera affinis under its various names remains the 'type'.  I 
presume most would think some extraordinary event would be required to 
overturn that and adopt a species in another branch of the family as its 
type. I do not think that event is the simple synonymy of Chloraema to 
Flabelligera. Synonymy does not invalidate the entity we are thinking of, it 
just (perhaps) changes the name used.

Despite what Sergio said, there is priority in family names. And 
Pherusidae is junior to Chloraemidae, which was renamed Flabelligeridae 
by Stop-Bowitz. It is clear that Stop-Bowitz thought he was just 
'correcting' the name with no intention of his action somehow 'invalidating' 
the continuity with Chloraemidae. Continuity of family names is very 

Since Pherusea of Grube is  younger by one year to Chloraemiens of 
Quatrefages  it is not an unused senior synonym and thus does not have 
to be referred to the Commission. Grube himself abandoned Pherusea 
and used the name Chlorhaemina Quatrefages in a paper in 1878. 

Basically it seems misguided  to me if the event of the oldest family name 
being  replaced by a much younger one, somehow means the next oldest 
name (embodied by a different type) sneaks in the back door as the 'true' 
name to upset the stability. Someone will have to do a lot more code 
wrangling than I have yet seen to convince me it is indeed so.  

   Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>

Discuss   = annelida at net.bio.net      = talk to all members
Server    = biosci-server at net.bio.net = un/subscribes
Archives  = http://www.bio.net:80/hypermail/ANNELIDA/
Resources = http://biodiversity.uno.edu/~worms/annelid.html

More information about the Annelida mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net